The Northern Illinois women’s soccer team will look to carry the momentum of their early season victories into the weekend, when the Huskies play their third-consecutive road match of the season when they face the Loyola Ramblers at the Loyola Soccer Park in Chicago on Sunday, Sept.5, at 2 p.m.
The Huskies (2-1) opened their regular season Aug. 23 with a 1-0 win over Creighton before claiming a 3-2 victory over Northern Iowa on Sunday, Aug. 29. Junior Kelsey Passaglia (Cary, Ill./Cary-Grove) recorded a goal in each contest, while Christen Schuler (Aurora, IL/Waubonsie Valley) and Kayra Thompson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley Northwest) each put points on the board in the Huskies’ win over the Jays.
Entering the weekend, Passaglia leads the Huskies with two goals, four points and12 shot attempts. Passaglia ranks sixth in the Mid-American Conference in goals, while her 12 shot attempts places her tied for first in the MAC. Passaglia also ranks tied for second in the MAC in shots per game with four.
Teammates Megan Harry (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton) and Devin Bond (Richland, Mich./Gull Lake H.S.) are among MAC leaders and rank tied for third in the conference, and lead Northern Illinois, with two assists each.
On the defensive end, freshman goalkeeper Amy Carr (Hemel Hempstead, England/Townsend) recorded 11 saves in the first three contests of the season to post a .733 save percentage. Carr ranks fifth among MAC goalkeepers in saves, while placing seventh in the conference in save percentage and saves per game (3.67).
While the Huskies have produced strong results in their early season, NIU head women’s soccer coach Carrie Barker feels the team needs to continue to improve each game.
“Loyola is a strong program, we’ll need to be ready to battle for 90 minutes,” said Barker. “We’ve had a good week of training, and we look forward to the game.”
The Huskies hold a slight 4-3-1 series advantage over the Ramblers. This season, Loyola holds a 0-4-0 record entering the weekend after opening the season against Illinois, Idaho State, Nebraska and Creighton. In the Ramblers most recent contest, Loyola dropped a 5-0 decision to Creighton on the road. Loyola’s Maggie Doe leads the Ramblers with eight shot attempts, while Kristin Papierski leads Loyola with one goal on six shots.
Following this weekend’s match the Huskies will return home to take on Illinois State in the first of three home matches on Sept. 10 at the NIU Soccer and Track & Field Complex.
For more information on NIU football and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.