2013 MAC Soccer Season Preview: Northern Illinois Huskies

USA TODAY Sports

The Northern Illinois Huskies are prepared to continue the success that their programs have.

NORTHERN ILLINOIS HUSKIES Men's Side

The Northern Illinois Huskies has had success in recent years. In 2011, they won the Mid-American Conference championship and advanced to the second round in the NCAA tournament. Last season they defeated West Virginia in the first round of the MAC tournament before falling in the championship.

Northern Illinois enters the 2013 season returning offensive stars while loosing their sole goal keeper.

The Huskies bring back their top three scorers: Gael Rivera, James Stevenson, Issac Kannah. Rivera scored nine goals last season, while Stevenson and Kannah had eight and five respectively. However, they have lost 2012 keeper Jordan Godsey. A spot that will be young this time around.

NIU only averaged just above a goal per game, and that will not be enough if they hope to continue programs success this season.

In their exhibition, according to their head coach Eric Luzzi, they have looked neat. Though they played to a draw against a lesser opponent IUPUI, it seems that they dominated possession and will have to build on that. Taking as much pressure as possible off their young defense will be a positive.

Northern Illinois season will come down to if they can finish their opportunities. They should have a very direct style.

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Northern Illinois Huskies Women's Side

The Northern Illinois women's team remained steady throughout their 2012 campaign.

It appeared throughout the year that they were just a break here or there from being one of the top teams in the conference. They lost to some of the best teams in the conference by a goal. However hey were unable to catch fire at any point in the season and thus fell in the first round of the MAC tournament.

They too have had a preseason game. They scored four goals against Valparaiso in the victory. However they also gave up three goals.

They will open up with Eastern Illinois on Sunday and then face their lone Big Ten opponent Purdue. For Northern Illinois, every game should be treated as preparation for Mid-American Conference play. As it is there that they will define their season.

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