Huskies add three to the All Mid-Con list


One of the benefits of having a successful season is collecting numerous awards for a job well done.

NIU’s men’s soccer team has certainly done their share of grabbing recognition this season as three Huskies were named to the All Mid-Continent Conference Team for the 1993 season.

Defenseman Jay Konrad and midfielder Sigurd Slaastad were named to the first team, while midfielder Brian Downs earned second team honors. This is the second such award for Konrad and the first for Slaastad and Downs.

Konrad, a junior, was the only Huskie to receive All Mid-Con accolades last year during the Huskies’ dismal 6-9-2 season. With the Huskies’ 11-6-2 turnaround this year and a fourth place finish in the conference, Konrad should have been a shoe-in for the All Mid-Con team, right?

Konrad wasn’t too sure about that assumption.

“I was kind of surprised,” Konrad said of making the first team again.

For Konrad, however, being named All Mid-Con won’t be the motivating factor for him next season.

“I didn’t play as well as I could have, so that (to improve) will be my motivation,” said Konrad.

Head coach Willy Roy was very happy for Konrad to repeat as an All Mid-Con player.

“I’m glad that Jay made the first team again,” said Roy. “Jay has been the spark in the defense for the past two years.” Slaastad, who transferred to NIU this year from the University of Oslo, Norway, made the Mid-Con’s first team in a freshman season where he emerged as the Huskies’ points leader.

“I was very pleased to be selected by the coaches for the All-Conference team,” said Slaastad. “To be recognized by the other coaches in the conference will certainly motivate me to do even better next year.”

Slaastad admitted that he could have performed even better if he didn’t have to make a transition to collegiate soccer in the U.S. from what he was accustomed to in Europe.

“It’s good to see Sigurd get recognized in his first year,” said Roy. “By the end of the season he was making great contributions to the team.”

Downs is a freshman midfielder who led the Huskies in goals, putting eight shots in the net. Being the team leader in goals, however, didn’t satisfy Downs.

“I was happy to contribute to the team’s success, and I’m happy that the coaches thought that I contributed to our team, but I’m disappointed with the year that I had because of the hamstring pull I had during the year,” said Downs. “I just want to stay healthy next year so I can contribute more.”

“I thought that Brian did well at the end of the season and he’s on track to be even better next year”, Roy said.

Although all three of the players are glad to be named All Mid-Con, they all expressed one similar goal for next season.

“We want to go to the (NCAA) tournament”, said Slaastad.