The Northern Illinois University women’s soccer team continued its preseason for the 2012 campaign Wednesday evening when it took on Valparaiso to usher in a new era under Head Coach John Ross. Through rain dampened conditions at Brown Field, the Huskies slayed the Crusaders to take their first preseason game, 1-0.
The Huskies held their shape throughout the first half, moving the ball forward into the attacking third while still transitioning back to play defense. The Huskies were able to outshoot the Crusaders, 5-3, in the first half and put two on frame, both off failed clearance attempts by Valpo on an NIU corner kick.
“It was good to come in last spring to work with the kids on our formations and our system and with that, (the result) showed today. We got pressured, got out of sorts and we were able to get the ball back and that helped us quite a bit” said Ross after the game.
NIU picked up where it left in the second half, as the defense moved forward, creating the Huskies lone goal from Frances Boukidis (La Crescenta, Calif.) seven minutes after half time.
“One of the things we want to do is transition well back in to offense and defense and if the opportunity is there, we’re going to take it. We have some speed on this team and we want to use it” added Ross.
Deanna Libricz (Algonquin, Ill.) started between the sticks for the Huskies and was not tested for a save, however, the sophomore did thwart VU’s chances of attack on failed through passes. Amy Carr (Hemel Hempstead, England) came on for Libricz in the second half and made a miraculous diving save in the 73rd minute of the game to keep the Huskie lead.
All told, 20 of the 28 NIU Huskies appeared in the contest.
Northern Illinois will play its final preseason match Sunday afternoon at NIU Soccer Complex when it hosts IPFW, starting at 4 p.m. The Huskies men soccer team will play two matches versus Notre Dame before the contest with the Mastadons, beginning at noon August 12.