Women get out of the gate on a high note

One down, 16 more to go.

That’s Frank Horvat’s philosophy. Sure, the first-year head coach was proud to see his Northern Illinois University women’s soccer team shut out Valparaiso University 6-0 on Sunday in the Huskies’ first “official” match. But this isn’t the time to dwell on the past. It’s the time to make improvements, since there are 16 more opponents to face.

Don’t get Horvat wrong. The victory was quite nice. He had the chance to work on various offenses with a variety of players. Plus, the win was a team effort due to the fact that five different players put points on the board.

“(Sunday) was the kind of day where a lot of people could step forward and contribute,” Horvat stated. “We were challenged in the first half, but I think we played much better in the second half. We spread out and played wing attackers which helped us. I think we were deeper and more fit than they were which was a big plus. But we really need to work on getting a stronger start.”

That might seem like a harsh expectation, but in reality Horvat is looking at the bigger picture. He figures there will be some matches when NIU won’t have the luxury of getting warmed up. However, Horvat won’t deny this victory was sweet.

“It’s great to have that first win under your belt,” Horvat admitted. “This is a confidence booster. The good thing was that we were able to make the second-half changes and that the players listened. This was a great start.”

Michelle Anger not only tallied her first goal of the year but the first one for the Huskies. With 18:00 gone in the first half, she nailed the 12-yard penalty kick to put NIU on the board 1-0.

Amy Derry opened the flood gates after intermission when a give-and-go from Kristin Raynolds was converted 12-yards straight out at 56:00 gone.

In the next four minutes Beth Pomies blasted two goals off assists from Anger and Laura Santoro to put Northern Illinois ahead 4-0. Santoro hit a six-yard cross kick off the far post with 72:00 gone prior to Mindy Cerretti’s 10-yard blast off a corner kick.