Women’s soccer set for two home games


Sophmore Allie McBride and Courtney Ksiazek celebrate a win.

By Ed Rietveld

This weekend NIU women’s soccer begins MAC conference play with a pair of home games against Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan.

The Huskies (4-3) head into MAC play with a little bit of momentum, after winning two consecutive games. They won 1-0 over Eastern Illinois and most recently defeated South Dakota, 4-1, Sunday.

NIU women’s soccer coach John Ross said these home games are important to set the tone for conference play.

“I think it’s a huge advantage to be home for two, just knowing your surroundings and sleeping in your own bed,” Ross said. “And obviously having their own routine, that you go through, so that makes it a lot easier and we definitely think that a good start to the MAC season will kind of, hopefully, propel us to what we want to achieve.”

Eastern Michigan comes into Fridays game with a record of 3-3-2. The Eagles haven’t played since a Sept. 9 loss against Michigan State University by a score 2-0.

Before that, the Eagles had won two in a row with victories against Lamar University and IUPUI.

Sunday NIU will conclude a three-game home stand against the Western Michigan Broncos (4-4-0). The Broncos have lost three straight games after winning four in a row. They too last played against Michigan State University losing to the Spartans 1-0

Western Michigan opens MAC competition with a game against the Toledo Rockets.

Senior mid-fielder and forward Shelbi Johnson said the MAC’s physical play is something NIU will have to be prepared for.

“Every team we play in the MAC is very physical and it’s very exhausting to play because there’s so much contact in the game,” Johnson said. “So for us, we need to keep the ball moving at a faster pace so they can’t catch up to us and they can’t get that big hit on us. So, I think that is something that is going to be huge because were not the biggest team out there in the MAC and a lot of teams out-size us, but we can out play them with our quickness.”