Men’s soccer to host Buffalo

By Brian Thomas

No. 18 ranked NIU men’s soccer begins MAC play at home Saturday against Buffalo.

The Huskies (7-1-0) know how important conference play is and look to perform well in the MAC.

“Getting off to a strong start is very important,” said NIU junior goaltender Jordan Godsey. “I mean, we could win all our games except for MAC games, and we still wouldn’t make the tournament. So MAC games are the most important.”

NIU is also wants redemption against the Bulls (5-5-1), as they ended the Huskies’ season last year.

“We were 0-3 going into our game against Buffalo last season, and we needed to win our last three games to make the tournament,” said NIU men’s soccer head coach Eric Luzzi. “We poured a lot of energy and emotion into that game, and we lost. And at that moment our season was basically over. I would expect that the returners at least would want some redemption.”

The Huskies come off back-to-back wins, most recently defeating Drake on Saturday 1-0 on sophomore James Stevenson’s lone goal, and they are expecting the same results.

“We expect to win,” Godsey said. “We want to win by more than one goal and get a shutout.”

In order for NIU to continue its winning ways, it will have to set the tone and not let the Bulls take over with their physical style of play.

“We are gonna have to do what we can to play the game on our terms,” Luzzi said. “Our games in the past against Buffalo have been absolute wars. They are physical and strong. We will still have to be physical and strong, but we want to play our game and dictate the game with our soccer.”