NIU defeats Florida Atlantic on senior day

By Brian Thomas

NIU men’s soccer picked up a win Sunday as it took down MAC opponent Florida Atlantic 1-0.

It was a big win for the Huskies (10-4-0, 2-2-0 MAC) as it was senior day as well.

Brad Horton, Johnny Tyma, Kenny Kranz, Finn Jor, Tim King, Francis Otira and Pat Sloan were the seven seniors to be recognized by NIU.

“Obviously, it’s a big day for us,” Horton said. “I think it really meant a lot to all of the seniors to win the game and we were glad to get the win.”

Eric Luzzi, NIU head men’s soccer coach, said he was happy the seniors were able to get a win on their special day, but he was not as pleased with the performance of his squad.

“To be honest, it’s more relief than happiness,” Luzzi said. “Today, the performance was very, very sub-par for our standards. So the fact that we got the result in spite of the performance…I’m happy for the seniors, but it’s more relief, to be honest, because the game should have gone much differently.”

NIU sophomore James Stevenson scored the lone goal for NIU in the 40th minute, just before the end of the first half. It was assisted by freshman Jayson LeSeth on a free kick.

The goal gives Stevenson five on the year and three in the Huskies’ last two games.

“That’s what he does; he’s a goal scorer. He’s a striker,” Luzzi said. “And even when he doesn’t have a perfect day, he’s going to have a chance to score goals, because that’s what he does.”

The Huskies had a good chance to add another goal on a penalty kick in the 53rd minute, but Owls goalkeeper Jeremy Crumpton blocked Horton’s shot.

The defense was strong in the game and was a key to NIU’s victory.

Huskies’ goalkeeper Jordan Godsey earned his eighth shutout of the season and had three saves in the match.

The Huskies earned their second straight win against a MAC opponent.

“It’s massive,” Luzzi said. “If we’re 1-3 after today we’re in trouble. 2-2 puts us right back in the hunt. I expect that we will keep moving forward and we will get ready for Bowling Green, which will be another challenging game on Saturday.”