Men’s soccer wins on Senior Day


Juan Hoyos (9) celebrates after scoring the game winning goal on Senior Day

By Mike Buda

Senior Day ended with a bang.

The NIU men’s soccer team finished its conference schedule with a 1-0 victory against Bowling Green Saturday.

“The game was similar to a handful of other games that we’ve played this year,” said NIU head coach Eric Luzzi. “We dominated the game in terms of possession and I think the difference [Saturday] was our guys did well not to get frustrated when the chances maybe weren’t falling our way.”

Playing in his final home match, senior striker Juan Hoyos found the net with just four minutes left in a scoreless game for his team leading fourth goal.

Junior midfielder Brad Horton threw the ball in to an open Gael Rivera and from there, Rivera placed a cross to the feet of Hoyos on the far post.

“To score one more time, especially for the game winning goal, felt really good,” Hoyos said.

The Huskies (8-6-2 overall, 2-4-0 MAC) have now won two in a row with just one regular season match left against Milwaukee for the Lewang Cup.

“I’m a little disappointed, but we still have a winning record so I’m not upset about that,” Hoyos said. “I really thought we could’ve given the MAC tournament a go and do really well, but we didn’t take care of the details before and now we just have to end with three wins.”

NIU will be missing the MAC Tournament for the first time since 1998, but was able to salvage its conference schedule after starting 0-4.

“The reality is that we know we are one of the best two teams of the conference; there’s no question about that,” Luzzi said. “I think it was fitting for our guys that we went out and controlled the play in two more games. We controlled the play in every conference game, even Akron for a lot of it, but the game itself can be very cruel and it was just unfortunate that we had a couple days where things just weren’t falling for us.”

NIU dominated the shot category with an 18-8 advantage, but the Falcons (5-7-2, 2-3-0) had the majority of the shots on target 4-3.

Sophomore keeper Jordan Godsey made four saves and picked up his seventh shutout and sixth win of the season.

Along with Hoyos, midfielders Kyle Knotek, Luis Mojica and Engebreth Faerden played their final 90 minutes on the turf in DeKalb.

“They definitely deserved it,” Luzzi said about the seniors getting a win in their final home match. “All four guys have given a lot to our program for the last four years, and I was pleased for the group that we got our victory.”