Tough defense pays off


NIU men’s soccer team has been making head coach Willy Roy work hard in his office lately.

Fortunately, the “work” is finding space for yet another trophy.

The Huskies brought home another piece of hardware as they defeated Michigan State and Quincy College to win the Quincy College/Harris Allied Soccer Bowl II at Quincy, Illinois last weekend.

NIU (5-4-1) is currently riding a four-game win streak by taking their second tournament in a row.

“It’s great to win two tournament titles in a row and it’s great to have a four-match win streak,” Roy said.

The Huskies started things off against the Spartans of Michigan State Friday, winning the battle in overtime, 2-1.

Brian Downs opened the scoring for NIU, taking an Andy Lane pass and drilling the ball in from ten yards out to give the Huskies a 1-0 advantage 12:08 into the game.

MSU (3-6-1) struck back in the second half on a Dan Radke tap-in from five yards out with 51:37 gone in the game.

The contest remained tied at one goal apiece at the end of regulation, which meant only one thing – OVERTIME.

The Huskies took advantage of the extra period when Sigurd Slaastad scored from six yards out at the 115:28 mark to give the Huskies the win.

NIU goalie Brad Nordeng saved two shots on goal to help propel the Huskies to victory.

“It was a really tough game and we did a good job in beating a very quick team,” Roy said. “We’re improving and this match showed it. It was a solid team effort.”

NIU then went head-to-head with Quincy College on Sunday for the championship. The first half went scoreless, but the second half was all NIU.

Andy Lane nailed a five-yarder from the left with 60:51 gone to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead. Sigurd Slaastad picked up the assist.

Two and a half minutes later, at the 63:21 mark, Lane struck again, hammering an 11-yard shot into the left side of the cage to provide all the scoring the Huskies needed as they went on to win the game 2-0, and more importantly, the championship.

Nordeng picked up his second shutout of the season against Quincy, while his defensive line only allowed three shots on goal.

Two Huskie players made the All-Tournament team, with Lane grabbing Offensive MVP and All-Tournament MVP honors. Slaastad was recognized as one of the tourney’s best midfielders.

Roy felt that both were deserving of the honors, but was quick to recognize a good team effort.

“Andy did a super job and showed the type of play we’ve been expecting to see from him,” Roy said. “But I certainly take my hat off to all the guys. We really had a team effort.”