Ex-club players bring experience to NIU


Women’s club soccer is a thing of the past here at NIU.

Club play may be done, but for eight former club players the future of the university team is a bright one.

“It’s good that the club players are (on the team) because they’re really the reason we have the foundation that we have,” head coach Frank Horvat said.

“Quite honestly, without them we would have a tough time being competitive. I think they’re doing a great job in terms of giving us a foundation to work from,” Horvat said.

Horvat also said that he was glad to have club players return to the team because it gave him a pool of players to choose from.

To the returning players it seems the biggest difference from last year is the dedication of the team members. Freshman defender Jody McIntosh said this year’s team is, “a lot more organized, a lot more dedicated and a lot more time is put in.”

Horvat sees the club players as a plus because, “they know what the school is about.” Senior midfielder Angie Raiff agrees. She said that knowing how NIU works and how the program works is a plus. McIntosh agreed by saying that, “from being here before, I know more about the school, about the program and about the people here and then I can help.”

The only disadvantage Horvat said he notices in keeping club players is that groups tend to form—one of former club players, one of transfer students and one of freshman. He said the forming of these groups would detract from the necessary team play.

According to Horvat, “there’s really no club team anymore. (The former club members) are representing Northern Illinois University and they’re one team now. That’s the whole intent of what we are trying to get across to (the players) so that they can start getting more into a flow of ‘we’, not club players and then everyone else.”

Horvat said he believes the team has adjusted and is now one cohesive group. McIntosh agreed when she said, “Most defiantly there is (a cohesiveness).”

The club members were invited by Horvat to try out in August along with about twenty other prospective players. Horvat said, “I invited back sixteen (club players) to tryout this August for the twenty to twenty-five spots on the team.” Most of the sixteen did tryout.

“Everyone has been kept because they’ve earned it,” Horvat stressed, “and by no means did I keep anybody because of any particular reason other than the fact that they’ve worked hard and they’ve done what they’ve needed to do between this year and last year in order to make the team.”

The women’s soccer team travels to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay this weekend to take on Minnesota and Kentucky in the Nike Classic.