The young and the restless collide


This weekend the NIU women’s soccer team has a chance to better its record to 3-0.

The Huskies travel to Green Bay for the Wisconsin-Green Bay/Nike Classic where they will face two new programs to the NCAA.

They open play with a game against Minnesota. Like NIU, Minnesota is a first year program. Head coach Frank Horvat expects this game to be a challenging one.

“I think they’re going to be our toughest game so far,” said Horvat.

“(Kentucky) will be good competition for us because they’ve already got their team established. They have a whole year under their belt.”

Horvat stressed that the weekend promises to be a challenge and that his team will have to play hard to come out with the wins.

“We could easily come out of (the weekend) 2-0, and just as easily come out 0-2,” said Horvat. “What is most important is that we play to the best of our ability every time we step on the field.”

To Horvat these games seem to be just another step toward his goals for the team.

“Our main goal is to learn and improve so every game is important, and this weekend will be a good challenge for us,” Horvat explained. “(Another) main goal for them is to try and be .500 and from game to game go out and work hard every second that we’re out on the field whether it’s practice or a game.” He would like to be able to give each team a tough game so the team walks off the field knowing that they have played a tough match.

This weekend is also a chance to see where the team is at in reference to other new programs.

After Sunday’s game against Valparaiso Horvat was concerned about his team’s play in the first half. He sees the first half as being important because whoever controls the tempo gets to play their game.

“I think its really important that we do come out strong and try to set the tone because if you let the other team set the tone then they get in the flow of their game,” said Horvat. “I think Saturday that’s going to be crucial (and the) same thing on Sunday.”

This is important because he believes both games will be one-goal games.

“We’re going to work on our offensive game plan a little bit the next two days and have the players start putting some thought into where they are in position to the ball,” Horvat said earlier in the week. You can expect to see a more attacking offense.

“We are also going to have to do a little better defensively than what we did (last Sunday),” said Horvat. During the week the team made some adjustments in this area too, in hopes of coming home with two wins this weekend.