Men’s soccer set to play final non-conference match

By Brian Thomas

After clinching a spot in the MAC tournament, with a 3-0 win at Bowling Green Saturday, NIU men’s soccer will play its final non-conference match tonight against UW Milwaukee.

The Huskies (11-4-0 3-2-0 MAC) feel good to have a spot in the MAC Tournament locked up, but they still know there is work to be done.

“It’s definitely a good feeling,” said NIU freshman Jayson LeSeth. “We know that we definitely have a spot in the tournament and that we have a chance to make it to the NCAA tournament.”

Eric Luzzi, NIU head men’s soccer coach, is pleased with getting into the tournament, but he is not overexcited.

“I think on one hand, it’s good because there is a tiny element of pressure that is lifted,” Luzzi said. “But at the same time, it’s an expectation for us, so I don’t think the guys are too overly excited because we should be there every year.”

NIU has won its last three matches in a row, earning shut outs in each match, due to the strong play of its defense.

“[The defense has] been huge for us,” LeSeth said. “They have nine shutouts on the year; that’s really big. I mean, if you can always make it through a game without giving up a goal, you always give yourself a chance to win. That’s always a positive.”

Even though the Huskies have a spot locked up in the MAC Tournament, they are still playing to win and know not to take the Panthers lightly.

“Milwaukee, they are in an interesting place,” Luzzi said. “They are a very good team that has probably lost a few games that they shouldn’t of, and potentially that makes them dangerous. They could come out tomorrow without a care in the world and just play freely because there is nothing at stake other than the [Lewang] cup.”

In order for NIU to stay hot and win, it just needs to continue playing the way that is has lately.

“To be honest, we just need to keep doing what we have been doing,” Luzzi said. “Move the ball quickly. Move off the ball for each other, and work hard on both sides of it.”