Women’s soccer begins new era


History will be made when the lady Huskies take to the soccer field early next month. It will mark the first time an NIU girls soccer team faces a foe while being recognized by the NCAA.

Gone are the days of club. No longer will the games be played for fun. While a step up, however, the added dimension brings added responsibilities: better competition, sweeter wins and tougher losses.

By no stretch of the imagination could anyone predict a first year team to come out with both barrels blazing and striking fear into the oppositions game plan. This is a fact head coach Frank Horvat is well aware of.

“Our main goal is to come out, improve everyday, work hard and have fun,” Horvat said. “In terms of a record, we’re shooting for .500, which is a lot for a first-year program.”

To make it even tougher is the fact that every member of the team was a walk-on. Not one player has any collegiate experience beyond the disbanded club team.

The fact that coach Horvat also came on board a little over five months ago has given him little opportunity to tap into the wealth of recruiting.

“I really don’t have a first-year recruiting class here,” he explained. “Basically everybody’s a walk-on. I’m happy with what we have … I think we have the ability to surprise some people, but we have a long way to go.”

Obviously, someone has to step forward and take charge on the field. Some of the women the coach expects to step forward are Kristy Foster, Amy Deary, Pat Becker and Olga Perez.

He also expects some of his freshman to make an impression on the field. Kristen Raynolds and Michelle Anger both have the capability to make their presence felt.

“Those players are going to really step forward and give us some strength.”

The inaugural season unofficially gets underway with an exhibition game here in DeKalb when the Loyola Ramblers role into town on Sat. August 28, at 11:30.

The regular season opener is a Sept. 5 date at Valparaiso University. The first regular season home game isn’t until Teykio-Marycrist comes to town (don’t worry, I’ve never heard of it, either) on Tue. September 14.

So let the history begin. Go out and root for your first-ever Huskie lady soccer team.

Even against the Teykio-Marycrist what-ever-they-are’s.