Northern Star




Northern Star

Northern Illinois University’s student news organization since 1899


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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Senior midfielder Camilo Estrada receives a pass in mens soccers match against Loyola-Chicago on Sept. 26. Despite a loss in the MVC semifinals, heroic performances from the Huskies defense is a building block for the future. (Scott Walstrom | NIU Athletics)

COLUMN: Reviewing men’s soccer’s surprising season

By Kalin Schaefer, Sports Reporter | November 27, 2023

After being eliminated from the MVC Tournament by Western Michigan University, there is a lot to be said about the NIU men’s soccer season.  A season that came with many offensive struggles also saw exceptional defense and goalkeeping. In their...

A basketball player jumps to make a shot behind the NBA 2K24 title. NBA 2K is one of many sport-related video games. (Courtesy of YouTube)

COLUMN: Ranking major sports video games

By Eddie Miller, Sports Reporter | November 17, 2023

Sport-related video games have been a major part of the gaming industry since it has been a debate of which game is best. Although I haven’t played every sports video game – MLB the Show, UFC – so those will be dismayed.  NHL  NHL is...

A graphic shows the logos of each Mid-American Conference school. Sports Reporter Skyler Kisellus jokingly discusses which MAC mascots he could defeat in hand-to-hand combat. (Eddie Miller | Northern Star)

COLUMN: Fighting every MACscot

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter | November 16, 2023

Throw everything you know about sports rankings out the window. The Associated Press Top 25, March Madness seeding, forget it. Instead, wouldn’t it be infinitely more interesting to see how you, dear reader, would fare in a melee battle against these...

A graphic shows senior defensive tackle James Ester, junior running back Antario Brown, and junior safety Nate Valcarcel in action for NIU football. Sports Reporter Eddie Miller predicts these three players could make it to NFL rosters. (Eddie Miller | Northern Star)

COLUMN: 3 NIU football players have NFL-level talent

By Eddie Miller, Sports Reporter | November 3, 2023

DeKALB – With three regular season games left, NIU football has had a much improved year compared to 2022. NIU holds an incredible amount of talent on the roster, with a few players that could – one day – go pro.  It is worth mentioning, “going...

Senior goalkeeper Jakub Rojek protects the net during NIUs mens soccers game against Aurora University on Sept. 4. The Huskies will need Rojek to keep up his strong play in order to make the MVP tournament. (Scott Walstrom | NIU Athletics)

COLUMN: Men’s soccer’s offense must prove itself

By Kalin Schaefer, Sports Reporter | October 23, 2023

After a loss at Western Michigan University and a win at home against Belmont University, NIU men’s soccer has two games left in the regular season.  Looking to end the season with a .500 win percentage, the Huskies (5-7-1, 2-3-1 MVC) are in sixth...

Graduate student Zach Place takes a shot during NIU mens golfs practice. The Huskies are looking to break through early-season struggles and repeat as MAC champions. (Courtesy of NIU Athletics)

COLUMN: Men’s golf is on the rise

By Eddie Miller, Sports Reporter | October 12, 2023

DeKALB – So far this season, NIU men’s golf has competed in four tournaments. Although the Huskies have yet to crack the top-five this season, their best showing was at the VCU Shootout, placing tied for sixth place.  Despite the slow start to...

Freshman forward Jeff Shirkey battles for the puck against a Kent State defender on Sept.15. The Huskies have struggled to open the season, losing their first eight games. (Courtesy of NIU Hockey)

COLUMN: How NIU Hockey can turn its season around

By Alex Crowe, Assistant Sports Editor | October 11, 2023

To say the start of the 2023-2024 season has been a disappointment is a massive understatement for NIU Hockey, who have yet to win a game with a quarter of the season in the books. A season that began with so much optimism – due to the eight new...

Junior running back Antario Brown (1) attempts to run the ball while getting his shirt pulled by Southern Illinois senior linebacker Zach Burrola (10) during the Huskies game against Southern Illinois University on Sept. 9. (Nyla Owens | Northern Star)

COLUMN: Takeaways from NIU football’s blowout win

By Zachary Bertram, Senior Sports Reporter | October 11, 2023

DeKALB – NIU football (2-4, 1-1 MAC) earned its first win since the season opener at Boston College with a 55-14 rout of the University of Akron Zips on Saturday. The Huskies offense exploded for eight touchdowns and 571 total yards.  “We’re...

From left: Graduate outside hitter Katie Erdmann, junior libero Crew Hoffmeier, junior outside hitter Nikolette Nedic, junior middle blocker Charli Atiemo, senior opposite/outside hitter Emily Dykes and senior setter Ella Mihacevich celebrate after a rally during a MAC volleyball match between the NIU Huskies and the Miami University RedHawks on Sept. 29 at Victor E. Court. NIU is looking to build on its newfound confidence after recent wins. (Ryanne Sandifer | Northern Star)

COLUMN: Volleyball finding its groove

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter | October 10, 2023

NIU volleyball is back home from its final Ohio road trip this season. With them, the Huskies brought a road conference victory and indicators of an upward trend within the program. FAST STARTS NIU took the opening set in each of its matchups with...

The Chicago Blackhawks logo and the Toronto Maple Leafs logo are split down the middle. Assistant Sports Editor Alex Crowe and Sports Reporter Sana Polizzi debate which of the two franchises is currently moving in a better direction. (Ria Pathak | Northern Star)

Look Both Ways: Are the Leafs a better franchise than the Blackhawks?

By Sana Polizzi and Alex Crowe | October 4, 2023

THE TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS ARE THE BETTER TEAM By: Sana Polizzi The Toronto Maple Leafs are better than the Chicago Blackhawks. During the 2022-2023 season, the Leafs were the superior team with almost twice as many wins as the Blackhawks. Toronto...

Arizona Diamondbacks Evan Longoria hits a single during the sixth inning of a Game 1 of their National League wildcard baseball series against the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Guide to the 2023 MLB Playoffs

By Zachary Bertram, Senior Sports Reporter | October 3, 2023

DeKALB – After six months and 162 games worth of regular season baseball, the MLB playoffs begin Tuesday. Only the top six teams from both the American League and the National League remain for their chance at history. Here is what you need to know...

Redshirt sophomore Quarterback Ethan Hampton looks for an open pass during Saturdays game against the University of Tulsa. Tulsa defeated the Huskies by a final score of 22-14. (Nyla Owens | Northern Star)

COLUMN: NIU football has offensive quandary

By Zack Rodriguez, Sports Reporter | September 29, 2023

Amidst the roaring enthusiasm of college football, NIU's offensive performance stands as a riddle wrapped in an enigma.  With an aura of uncertainty surrounding roster management, a cloud of doubt lingering over play calling decisions and a perplexing...