Shadowing the enemy: Defort perfects the art


The best way to shut down a great player in the game of soccer is to shadow him with a player who has the abilities to neutralize that great player.

This year, the men’s soccer team has faced a few players who posess the skills and athletic abilities to be classified as great players.

These players have wreaked havoc on other teams, but when shadowed by NIU’s defensive stopper Mike Defort, it has been a different story.

In NIU’s 2-1 win upset over highly ranked SMU, Defort managed to keep quiet Alan Pamparin, an All-American and a member of the U.S. National team.

In NIU’s 2-0 win over Quincy, en route to winning their second tournament in as many weekends, Defort again neutralized another highly touted goal scoring threat in forward Marty Schaeffer.

Head soccer coach Willy Roy credits Defort’s ability to shut down these great players to his speed and knowledge of the game.

Even though Defort’s role on the team is to shut down the opposing team’s most dangerous offensive weapon, he is not a one-dimensional player as one might think.

The ability to contribute on the offensive side of the ball as well as play great defense is what enables Defort to shut these players down.

On the year Defort has taken 14 shots, five of which were on goal, and one ended up in the back of an opponent’s net for a Huskie goal.

“He makes guys who don’t really play defense come down with him when he is attacking on offense, and this takes away from their game,” assistant coach Marcus Roy said.

Defort is one of the older players on the team and one would expect him to be the team leader and the voice of the team.

This could not be further from the truth. Defort is a more laid back, reserved, non-vocal player who lets his play do the talking.

Coach Roy points out that Defort has one of the strongest work ethics on the team and this is exemplified by the stellar performances he has produced this season.