Women’s soccer to face tough test at Purdue

By Sam Bauman

The women’s soccer team will continue its out of conference schedule this weekend with two matches.

The first, which will take place Friday, features the Huskies traveling to Purdue to face the 1-1-0 Boilermakers. The second, on Sunday, places the Huskies against Lewis University at home.

Huskies head coach John Ross is expecting stiff competition, especially from Big Ten foe Purdue.

“The Big Ten is a very strong women’s soccer conference,” Ross said. “Just a couple years back they were one of the best teams in the Big Ten. They definitely have all the talent in the world that you want. From the clips that I saw, and the scouting reports, this could be a very strong year for them. They’re a complete team, and we have to make sure that we take care of all the little things on the field to give ourselves a chance.”

In order for the Huskies to compete they will need to continue the strong defensive play they exhibited in their last match against Eastern Illinois. This weekend, the competition will be fierce from a Purdue offense that’s scored eight goals in its first two matches. Ross knows it will take a group effort in order to stall the Boilermakers’ offense.

“We really have to be organized,” Ross said. “They’ve got some pretty dynamic players. One person isn’t going to be able to stop them, and it’s got to be a team effort.”

NIU will look to a strong defense that’s bolstered by upperclassmen. The first match featured seniors Courtney Ksiazek and Kaylee Heller playing heavy minutes. Also contributing to the defensive effort was junior Lauren Noonan and freshman Jackie Wandt, who led the team with the amount of minutes played with 82 and 90, respectively.

The Huskies will look to come out with a strong showing against their first true test this season. After an impressive opening Ross is hoping to see his team continue its growth.

“We want to try and build on what we did last Friday,” Ross said. “We want to continue to get better every day. It’ll be a good test for us on Friday, and I think the ladies are ready. I’m excited for that test.”