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Five men’s soccer players garner All-MAC nods

November 10, 2011

Five members of the Northern Illinois men’s soccer team were named to the All-Mid American Conference team, announced Thursday by the league office.

Senior Francis Otira (London, England/Finchley Catholic), junior Jordan Godsey (Ocean Springs, Miss./Ocean Springs) and sophomore James Stevenson (Falkirk, Scotland/St. Mungo’s) earned first team honors while sophomore Karim Darbaki (Faribualt, Minn./Shattuck St. Mary’s) and freshman Isaac Kannah (Plymouth, Minn./Prairie Seeds Academy) were named to the second team.

“I am extremely happy for all five of the guys; it is all very well deserved,” NIU head coach Eric Luzzi said. “This is the first time in a long time we have had this many players named all-conference and it is a great statement for these five guys but also for our program as a whole. It shows that all of the hard work put in by these five guys, and all of their teammates, has been rewarded”

NIU’s five all-conference honorees are the most since 2006, when six Huskies earned All-MAC recognition.

Five men's soccer players garner All-MAC nods

Otira has started all 17 matches in the center of the NIU defense and has recorded one assist. Otira was named to the all-tournament team at each of the three tournaments NIU played in this season, including earning MVP honors at the NIU/adidas Invitational. For that performance, Otira was also named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week and earned MAC Player of the Week recognition.

Godsey has played every minute in goal this season for the Huskies, posting a goals against average of 0.69, 17th-best in the nation, and a save percentage of .815, 24th-best in the country, while amassing nine shutouts and 53 saves. Godsey was named to the all-tournament team earlier this year at both the Michigan Invitational and the NIU/adidas Invitational.

Stevenson leads the Huskies in scoring with six goals, tied for third in the MAC, and 14 points, tied for fifth in the MAC, in 13 matches. The Falkirk, Scotland native has scored three game-winning goals during the 2011 campaign, netting game winners against Drake, Florida Atlantic and Hartwick. Stevenson has scored four goals in the last five matches.

Darbaki has appeared in all 17 matches this season for the Huskies, making 16 starts. The sophomore has recorded a pair of goals and a team-high-tying four assists on the season, tied for the sixth-most assists in the MAC. Darbaki scored the game-winning goal earlier this season against Portland and recorded assists on the game-winning goals against Oakland and Western Michigan.

Kannah has made 16 starts while appearing in all 17 matches during his freshman season at NIU. Kannah is tied for the team lead, and sixth in the MAC, with four assists this season. His lone goal of the campaign propelled the Huskies to a 1-0 victory over Valparaiso and also helped Kannah earn all-tournament team honors at the NIU/adidas Invitational.

The second-seeded Huskies open play Friday, Nov. 11, in the Mid-American Conference Tournament in Akron, Ohio, against third-seeded Buffalo. The match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

For more information on NIU men’s soccer and Huskie athletics, visit