Ranked NIU faces Bradley

By Andrew Hansen

When NIU men’s soccer coach Steve Simmons looks at Wednesday’s opponent Bradley, it’s like looking into a mirror.

“They’re in the same boat we are,” Simmons said. “We have similar records and we’re both looking at possible at-large berths in the NCAA tournament.”

The Huskies (10-4-2, 3-1-0 MAC) travel to Peoria to take on the Braves (10-4-1) Wednesday night. The game will showcase two regionally ranked opponents; NIU is ranked fifth in the Midwest followed by Bradley at sixth.

Simmons said Bradley is always a tough place to play due to strong student turnout.

Despite Bradley not being a conference opponent, NIU isn’t going to look past the team. Simmons said if the Huskies are lucky, they will face other teams like Bradley.

“It’s a very realistic game for us if we’re fortunate enough to get in the [NCAA tournament],” Simmons said. “We would be competing with the likes of Bradley in the first round.”

Simmons said a win at Bradley would definitely help NIU as they close out the season.

“[A win] gives us momentum going into IPFW and into the MAC championship.”