Mens soccer to face No. 14 Northwestern


Junior MF/F Andrew Palumbo (5) defends the bgall on the Sep. 13 game against Butler.

By Jacob Onak

After its worst loss of the season against West Virginia, men’s soccer faces another tough test in the Northwestern Wildcats.

This will be the Huskies’ (3-7-0) fifth straight match not played on their home turf. Fortunately, the Wildcats (7-3-0) have lost their last two matches at home.

Once again the defending Big Ten Champions are led by sophomore forward Joey Calistri, who is tied for a national-best 10 goals this season.

Head coach Eric Luzzi said Calistri is a poacher in front of the goal, so the defense will have to keep an eye on him in its own 18-yard box.

“If you look at him statistically, he has 10 goals and has only taken 17 shots all season,” Luzzi said. “So that tells us … he’s a really good finisher. Almost every single one of his goals comes from within 6 yards from the goal. The biggest thing for us is we just have to make sure that inside the box his runs and his movements are always tracked and accounted for.”

Last season, the Huskies pulled off an upset over Northwestern with a stunning goal from sophomore Charlie Oliver. Oliver will be out for this game with a knee injury he picked up against West Virginia.

Freshman defender Richard Hall, who stepped in for Oliver against the Mountaineers, is expected to get the start. The England native will take over the left back spot.

With a conference match against Bowling Green set for Saturday, Luzzi said there is a chance there will be opportunities for players who haven’t gotten the minutes they would like.

“It could evolve into that,” Luzzi said. “We will have to see how the game goes. It could be a chance for certain guys that maybe haven’t played in a while to show us a little bit of what they can do. Depending on how the game goes, that’s possible.”

The Huskies kick off at 7 p.m. today in Evanston.