Early struggles plague Huskies in 2011 season

By Matt Hopkinson

In a season that saw far more downs than ups, there is always something to be gained.

The NIU women’s soccer team struggled out of the gate as it lost its first four games.

It wasn’t until a match with Northern Iowa that the Huskies earned their first point, playing to a 1-1 tie.

NIU would then go on to lose and tie in the next two games before it earned its first victory against Loyola on senior day 2-0.

Both goals scored for NIU were knocked in by sophomore forward/midfielder Frances Boukidis, while both assists were credited to senior forward/midfielder Kelsey Passaglia.

“It was a cool win just because we never beat Loyola before in my whole time here,” Passaglia said.

The Huskies would go on to lose their next four games following their first win before winning their second game at Buffalo, 1-0.

The lone goal was scored by junior defender Lauren Eberts off of a corner kick by junior midfielder/forward Shelbi Johnson.

After the win against Buffalo, NIU would close its season, losing the remainder of its six games.

Although winning only two games sounds like a disaster of a team, NIU had many close contests and unbelievable bad luck. The Huskies actually finished their season with more cross-bar hits than goals scored, including one last hit in their final game of the season.

“That was kind of our luck this season,” said Carrie Barker, NIU head women’s soccer coach. “Seeing that cross-bar just reminds you of how the season has gone.”

Although the results were not what the Huskies wanted, it was never for a lack of hard work or effort.

“I’m disappointed with the record,” Barker said. “I’m not disappointed with our work-rate, our heart or our team chemistry. Those are things that you cannot see in the record book. You can only see those things if you’ve been to every game.”

While the season was full of close losses and emotionally draining matches, NIU never stopped having fun, specifically on the trip to Buffalo, where it performed a singing and dancing routine in the airport terminal.

“We had a blast on the trip [to Buffalo],” said Megan Harry, NIU senior defender/midfielder. “We let go of all stressors. I would have to say that was my favorite memory.”