Women’s soccer looking for win in home opener

By Ed Rietveld

NIU’s women’s soccer begins the home portion of its schedule with games on Friday and Sunday afternoons.

The Huskies (1-1) home opener is against their in-state rival, the Illinois State Redbirds.

Coming into Friday afternoon’s game, the Redbirds are unbeaten through the season’s first four games (2-0-2) and are coming off a win last weekend against Florida Atlantic and a tie against Florida Gulf Coast.

NIU women’s soccer coach John Ross said the Redbirds attack anywhere on the pitch.

“They do a really good job with their attack coming from all different angles,” Ross said. “The outside backs are attacking. The forwards do a really good job holding the ball and their attacking mids do a good job of getting involved off the forwards. So, that will be a big challenge for us. You can’t really key in on one area it’s going to come from everywhere.”

Junior Frances Boukidis forward/mid-fielder said it will be key for the Huskies not to try and play at ISU’s pace.

“I think we’ve got to make sure we don’t get frantic out there,” Boukidis said. “And we just relax, realize that if we put in our best effort and play to our best potential, that we can give them a really good game.”

The Huskies face another in-state rival Sunday when the Loyola University Ramblers come to DeKalb.

In their last two games, the Ramblers (1-2) have been outscored 8-0 during two matches against Big Ten opponents, Iowa, 4-0 and Wisconsin, 4-0.

Before arriving in DeKalb, the Ramblers will travel to Toledo to face MAC West division member the University of Toledo Friday.