Men’s team looks forward to fresh start


Trivia sports fact: The world’s most popular sport is football but not the game of pigskin we are all accustomed to. This game involves one round ball with spots, two goals with nets and no major padding for players. You guessed it—it’s soccer.

This year’s NIU men’s soccer team is ready to put an end to last year’s stats. After last season’s 6-9-2 record, NIU‘s men’s soccer coach Willy Roy is looking forward to a fresh start.

“We’re a solid team with a good mixture of young players,” says Roy.

Even without a set goalie this season, Roy is confident enough in the team’s strong mid-field and defense that he feels the chosen goalie will not be overwhelmed.

As for the offense, returning lettermen Andy Lane, Nathan Mitchell and Tim Prerost will make the same determined effort they put forth last season that won the team five out of their last seven games. Though the Huskies lack one overwhelming player, the overall combination of talent should provide more than enough support.

They will need that support for their upcoming matches. They’ll be playing some incredibly tough competition, such as University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Creighton University and Southern Methodist University_one of the top ten teams in the nation.

“We’re not afraid of anybody,” said Roy. “We look forward to the match as a way to judge were we stand.”

This confidence does not end with the team’s coaching. Sophomore forward Nathan Mitchell feels the same eagerness to get back on the field. He’s glad the schedule starts out as difficult as it is.

“Playing them (Wisconsin-Green Bay) will get us motivated right away,” said Mitchell. “Last season started off slow because we didn’t have the motivation. This year we will have a more positive attitude and we will win.”

Winning is not all in the attitude though. You must be in top shape to be competitive. This should not be a problem for this year’s team.

“I’m up at six o’clock every morning to run and then weight train for a hour and a half,” said Mitchell. The new recruits are also in shape by the time the season starts because of the rigorous training they receive during the preseason practices.

“We’re starting to be an older team with a lot of sophomores and juniors,” Mitchell said. “We all work hard because we want to improve ourselves.”

Roy is anxious to see the maturing team in action on the new soccer field, which has just recently been completed. He also hopes to see more crowds filling the newly installed stands.

“We represent our university and we would like to see the student body, faculty and the community there to support us,” said Roy. “The new facility is a great benefit to the team, but the fans are what really help us play better.”