Excitement in the air for NIU exhibition

By Mark D. Morrey

Exciting is the word NIU soccer coach Willy Roy is proclaiming to describe his team’s opening match today against the University of Erlangen (Germany).

Roy, a native German who moved to America in 1956, is excited to not only play one of his homeland’s top soccer teams but also spend some time with them.

The exhibition game begins at 5 p.m. at Huskie Soccer Field.

“It is an honor to play a team like this,” Roy said.

The German team has won six championships in the last seven years. Not only is it good for the Huskies to play such a good team, but the cultural exchange is good for the team off the field as well.

Members from both teams have gotten together after practice to talk and learn about each other. After today’s game, the players from both teams will have a barbecue.

The Huskies are not yet in the form that Roy wants them to be in, but said, “We are not overly concerned with 10 days left before opening day.”

Roy plans on using the Erlangen game to give everyone a chance to play and see how his underclassmen perform.

The Huskies will be counting on the leadership of seniors Dave Weichman and Todd Moore.

Moore appears to be over his knee surgery that sidelined him for three-fourths of last season. Roy is really counting on the upperclassmen to hold together and teach the young team.

Freshman midfielder Charles Martel and defenseman Brian Reinheimer have been “working very hard,” Roy said.

The sixth-year coach is especially happy with the way all of the underclassmen have been practicing and is looking forward to try out his team, which features eight freshmen and 11 sophomores.

This year’s difficult schedule starts off with perhaps the toughest game of all, Sept. 10 at 1991 NCAA Final Four qualifier St. Louis University.

“If you want to be big, then you have to think big time,” Roy said. “You want to play against the best and work hard in the pre-season.”