Men’s soccer hopes to avenge last season’s loss

By Sean Connor

After a 2-1 loss at Western Illinois last fall, NIU went on to win seven of its next nine games.

So perhaps it wouldn’t be a bad thing if the Huskies (1-0-1) lost today against the Leathernecks, who they host at 5 p.m. on Huskie Soccer Field. The Huskies will then leave to play a 1 p.m. match Sunday at Valparaiso.

NIU coach Steve Simmons has used 17 of his 26 players thus far, but wants to use more of his players with the team playing two games in a 44-hour span.

“We’d like to be in a position to utilize our bench,” Simmons said. “But the game will dictate that.”

The Leathernecks (0-2) went to the NCAA Tournament last season after winning their conference tournament, but NIU has the most wins (20) over the Leathernecks than any other opponent WIU has faced in its history.

“This game will be a good measuring stick for us,” Simmons said.

NIU was 9-4 heading into its game against Valpo (1-1) last season. The Huskies emerged with a 3-0 win, and held onto their all-time undefeated record (9-0) against Valpo, who’ll play at Butler Friday.

“They’ll be looking to make up for last year’s game,” Simmons said. “We’re ranked eighth in the Midwest and this weekend is a tremendous opportunity to make an impression regionally and nationally.”