Huskies sporting new look for 1992

By Marc Wesner

A big piece of Willy Roy’s 1991 team was taken away because of graduation, but the anticipation of a new season is high among this year’s NIU soccer squad.

The likes of Karsten and Markus Roy, Frank Sparacino and John Lechner no longer will be taking the field as Huskies.

Only four seniors return from the team that finished 11-5-3 a year ago. More importantly, Roy has just five starters returning—three of those being sophomores.

While last year featured the veteran leadership of six starting seniors, this season will center around the youth.

In addition to the returning seniors, led by defender Dave Weichman and midfielder Jim Hall, the Huskies will feature 19 underclassmen—eight of them freshmen.

Even with as young a team he has this year, Roy feels success is right around the corner.

“We hope to do well,” the sixth-year coach said. “With 60 percent of the starting lineup graduating last year, this is a rebuilding year.

“But I’m going into the season with an open heart and an open mind. We’ll see what happens.”

The five returning starters include defender Jay Konrad, who had four goals and an assist last season; midfielder Derek Niepomnik—four goals and an assist; Hall—one goal and an assist; Weichman—goal and two assists and forward Andy Lane—team-high seven goals and two assists.

Even with the youth, Roy didn’t let up one bit in scheduling the best opposition for his team.

The Huskies open this season’s campaign with two exhibition matches. This Wednesday, NIU faces the University of Erlangen (Germany) at 5 p.m. at Huskie Soccer Field.

On Sept. 6, the young will face the old in the Huskie Alumni Soccer Fest at noon at Huskie Soccer Field.

NIU begins its regular season and its quest to reach postseason play on Sept. 10 at St. Louis University. The Billikens, who reached the NCAA Final Four last year, have defeated the Huskies in all nine previous meetings.

NIU will open the home slate of its schedule with a 4 p.m. game on Sept. 18 against Loyola University-Chicago.