Huskie senior Courtney Ksiazek (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) has another reason to remember the women’s soccer Senior Day weekend.
The defender was named Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Week after the Huskies clinched a MAC Tournament berth for the second consecutive season with two wins over the weekend.
Ksiazek played the entirety of both of NIU’s games on defense, a key component of both wins for the Huskies.
On Friday, in the first night game for the Huskies at home, NIU had a one-goal lead in need of protection over the final 30 minutes of regulation. Opposing Kent State was constantly on the attack during this last third of the game. Ksiazek came up with some clears to help keep the ball out of the Huskie goal.
On Sunday – Senior Day for the women’s soccer team – the Huskies found themselves in a similar situation to that of Friday. Against Ohio, NIU was again ahead 2-1 late in the game. Not only did the squad want to win for Senior Day, but a postseason spot would be clinched if the Huskies were to come away victorious. Once again, the opposition pressured the Huskie defense, but Ksiazek and crew did not wilt. They held onto the lead and sent NIU into the postseason.
Both of Ksiazek’s goals this season came against MAC opponent Buffalo, a game in which she first scored late in regulation to force overtime and again in double overtime to take a victory for NIU.
NIU has one more game on the regular season schedule. The team faces Toledo at the NIU Soccer Complex at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31.