The Northern Illinois men’s soccer team will celebrate the careers of four Huskies playing their final season when NIU hosts Bowling Green at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, for Senior Day.
Seniors Engebreth Faerden, Juan Hoyos, Kyle Knotek and Luis Mojica will be honored for their extensive dedication and commitment to NIU soccer prior to kick-off of what is the last home match of the season.
“It has been a pleasure and an honor to work with these four guys over the course of their careers here,” said NIU head coach Eric Luzzi, who has been with the team since 2006. “They’ve given their hearts and souls to our program and they’ll definitely be missed in the future in terms of their commitment, their talent, and their embodiment of NIU soccer.”
The Huskies will hope the emotion of the day will propel them to their second straight Mid-American Conference victory. Northern Illinois defeated Western Michigan, 2-0, in a midweek match in Kalamazoo to improve to 7-6-2 overall and 1-4-0 in the MAC.
Mojica totaled two assists in the match, including connecting with Hoyos for a score in the 14th minute. Mojica leads the Huskies with eight points on two goals and four assists. Hoyos ranks second with seven points on three scores and a helper.
“We plan to focus on the process, and let the results take care of itself,” Luzzi said. “If we bring energy, we’re sharp on the ball and sharp on set-pieces, then there’s a good chance the result with take care of itself.”
Bowling Green enters the game with a 5-7-2 record, including a 2-2-0 mark in conference play. The Falcons have lost three of their last four matches, but the losses were to No. 8 Butler, No. 10 Michigan State and Michigan.
“They are a completely different team than last year,” Luzzi said. “They have a spirit and a fight about them that they haven’t had for years, and it’s going to be a difficult game.”
NIU could have an advantage early in the match, as BGSU has been outscored by its opponents 10-3 in first halves. The Huskies scored twice in the first 14 minutes in their win over the Broncos.
Finding the most likely scorer for NIU is perplexing, as nine different Huskies have tallied goals this year. Hoyos and freshman James Stevenson lead the charge with three each, while Mojica, and juniors Finn Jor and Tim King have each been credited with two. Bowling Green is led by the duo of Max Weston and Dusko Topolic, who have combined for seven goals. Weston also leads the Falcons with four assists.
The match-up is the final home game and the final MAC game of the year for the Huskies. NIU will finish the regular season at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4, with the annual battle for the Lewang Cup at Milwaukee.
For more information on NIU men’s soccer and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.