The Northern Kentucky University men’s soccer team travels to UIC on Friday for the final regular-season contest of 2018. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET/4 p.m. CT, and live stats will be available.
NORTHERN KENTUCKY vs. UIC
Friday, Nov. 2 – 5 p.m. ET/4 p.m. CT – Chicago, Ill. – Live Stats
UIC leads the series 2-0-1. In the last meeting, the teams tied 0-0 on Oct. 14, 2017.
LAST TIME OUT
NKU fell to IUPUI in overtime on Sunday, Oct. 28 by a final score of 2-1. The Jaguars took a 1-0 lead in the 59th minute. Connor Probert responded with a goal straight off of a corner kick in the 71st minute to tie the match at 1-1. However, IUPUI got a goal with 42 seconds left in the first overtime period to secure the victory.
TAKING A LOOK AT THE STATS
The Norse are 10-6 on the season and 3-4 in the Horizon League. The 10 wins are the most victories for the program in a season in the Division I era. NKU is averaging 2.31 goals per match and allowing an average of 1.56 goals per contest. The Norse are 7-0 when scoring at least three goals in a match. The team is eighth in the NCAA in scoring offense. Alex Willis ranks third in the nation in total points and goals with 39 and 16, respectively. Alex Greive is tied for first in the NCAA with 11 assists. Senior goalkeeper Jim Barkei has started 11 contests and has an 8-3 record this season. He has recorded 39 saves for a 0.696 save percentage and a 1.59 goals against average.
HORIZON LEAGUE TOURNAMENT
The Horizon League Tournament begins on Monday, Nov. 5. The top six teams in the league standings will qualify for the tournament. As of now, the Norse sit in seventh place in the standings. NKU needs a win at UIC and a Milwaukee tie/loss at Wright State to make the tournament.
ALEX WILLIS AND ALEX GREIVE EARN NATIONAL RECOGNITION
Sophomore midfielder Alex Greive was named to the Top Drawer Soccer and College Soccer News National Team of the Week for his play from Sept. 10-16. He also earned Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week honors. Greive recorded an assist on all five goals that NKU scored. The Norse went 2-0 with wins over Evansville and previously unbeaten Green Bay. Greive had three assists in the 3-0 win over Evansville on Tuesday, Sept. 11. He followed that up with two assists in the 2-1 win over Green Bay on Saturday, Sept. 15. Green Bay had a 4-0-1 record entering the match. Greive’s second assist against Green Bay occurred with 1:17 left in the match to help the Norse get the victory.
Freshman forward Alex Willis earned national recognition for his play from Aug. 27-Sept. 2. Willis was named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week, and he also earned United Soccer Coaches Player of the Week honors for NCAA Division I. In addition to his national awards, Willis was named the Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week.
Willis helped the Norse to a 3-2 victory over preseason Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) favorite Canisius on Monday, Aug. 27. He scored two goals and recorded an assist in the match against the Golden Griffins. Willis followed that up with two goals against Duquesne on Friday, Aug. 31 in NKU’s 2-1 win. Despite the Norse playing with nine men starting late in the second half, Willis scored the game-winner in the 96th minute to lift NKU to victory. Willis followed that performance with a goal and two assists on Sunday, Sept. 2 to help the Norse defeat Robert Morris 3-2.
Head coach Stu Riddle is in his second season leading the program, and it is his 10th season as a head coach. He has an overall record of 78-80-25. Assistant coach Blair Stevenson and volunteer assistant coach Roger Lane are also in their second years at NKU, while assistant coach Sam Brooks is in his first season on the Norse coaching staff.
TAKING A LOOK AT THE SQUAD
The Norse return 14 players from last year’s team and add nine newcomers to the fold for 2018. Wes Collins, Justin Earle, Ed Harvey, Will Hunt, Stian Jørgensen, Sam Mason, Connor Probert, Sam Slocum, and Alex Willis are in their first seasons at NKU.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
UIC enters the contest at 10-5-1 overall and 4-2-1 in the Horizon League. The Flames also sport a perfect 6-0 record on their home field. Max Todd leads the team with 11 goals and 23 points. Jesus Perez has added three goals and 11 assists. He is tied for first in the NCAA in the latter category. Markell Saddler has tallied five goals and seven assists. In the net, Sawyer Jackman has started all 16 contests for the team. He has 62 saves for a 0.747 save percentage and a 1.29 goals against average.
Northern Kentucky University
Athletic Communications Graduate Assistant