Another trip to Wisconsin, men hoping for a win


Head coach Willy Roy and the NIU men’s soccer team will have their hands full when they go to the Wisconsin-Milwaukee tournament this weekend.

But their hands won’t be full of cheese or beer, both staples of Wisconsin life.

Instead, the unbeaten Huskies will face the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers as well as the University of Wisconsin-Madison Badgers.

The Huskies, who are coming off a 4-0 win against Northwestern this past Monday, will be thoroughly challenged by both teams. The Panthers began the season with two straight victories and the Badgers are ranked as one of the top 20 teams in the country. However, coach Roy is cautiously optimistic about the Huskies’ chances of success this weekend.

“We hope to come out with a win and a tie, or at least a win,” said Roy


NIU plays the Panthers Saturday at 3 p.m., and coach Roy makes it clear who the Huskies are concentrating on.

Although Wisconsin-Madison is ranked as a top twenty Division I team, Roy stressed that the Huskies are “definitely concerned with Wisconsin-Milwaukee first.”

Wisconsin-Milwaukee, which is also a Mid-Continent Conference foe, is riding high with an undefeated record. NIU hopes to avenge last year’s 3-0 loss to the Panthers in DeKalb. Roy added that UWM is a “very powerful team with an excellent forward in Tony Sanneh.”

Sanneh was UWM’s leading scorer in 1992, scoring 12 goals and four assists for Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Nonetheless, Roy expects the Huskies, who are a powerful team in their own right, to match up well versus the Panthers.

Wisconsin-Madison will be the next team NIU meets on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Badgers are currently occupying the No. 14 position in the men’s soccer rankings and are the defending Big Ten champions. This, however, doesn’t bother Roy at all.

“Ranks don’t scare us,” said Roy.

The coach hopes to get a good picture of the Badger attack by watching the early game Saturday to further aid the Huskies. Roy hopes that the NIU can put the rankings out of their heads and crank out a victory against a talented Badger squad.

When asked about which key players he hopes will step up for the Milwaukee tournament, Roy emphasized, “If we want to be successful in the tournament as well as the rest of the season, we must play as a team. There are no outstanding players on the team. Our team is solid as a whole.” Roy further explained that the team can match up well with many teams if they play together.

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee tournament will be a real test for the NIU men’s soccer team. It may also be a indicator of what the future holds for this year’s Huskie team. Hopefully, the Huskies’ future is a bright one.

“If we come through this weekend, we can look at the future from a more realistic view,” Roy said.