The Northern Kentucky men’s soccer team’s home match against Fort Wayne that was originally scheduled for Friday has been moved to Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The change is due to the inclement weather that is expected to hit the area on Friday.
Northern Kentucky Norse vs. Fort Wayne Mastodons
Thursday, Aug. 31 – 7:30 p.m.
Highland Heights, Ky. – NKU Soccer Stadium
HEAD COACH STU RIDDLE: Stu Riddle is in his first season at the helm of the NKU men’s soccer program. He was most recently the head coach at the University at Buffalo, where he spent four seasons. Last year as head coach of the Bulls, Riddle led the team to a 12-4-3 overall record. For his career, Riddle sports a 62-69-21 overall record as a head coach. In the past seven seasons, Riddle has guided his teams to the Mid-American Conference Championship match four times (2010, 2011 at Western Michigan and 2015, 2016 at Buffalo.)
LAST TIME OUT: The Norse fell to a very tough UC Irvine team on Sunday afternoon. Despite the loss, NKU was able to score two goals in the match. Alex Greive was fouled in the box in the 70th minute, and Rikard Lindqvist converted the penalty kick to put the Norse on the scoreboard. A minute later, Lindqvist added his second goal of the match and his third of the season. He secured a ball that went over the top of the UC Irvine defense and attempted a shot to the right of the goalkeeper. His initial shot hit the post, but he got the rebound and tapped in the ball from close range to give the Norse their second goal of the match.
SCOUTING FORT WAYNE: The Mastodons are 1-0-1 on the season. Fort Wayne opened the year with a 0-0 draw against fellow Horizon League member Wright State. In their most recent outing, the Mastodons defeated Dayton by a score of 2-1. Jan Shumacher and Romain Lopez each scored in that game, with Will Hunt and Zach Tom providing the assists. Oscar Uyamadu also returns to the offense. He led the team with seven goals and 17 points in 2016.
Fort Wayne has used two goalkeepers early on in the season, as Brendan Stangel and Will Hathaway have each started a game in the net. Stangel made seven saves in the match against Wright State. Hathaway also recorded seven saves in his appearance against Dayton, allowing just one goal in the contest.
NORSE IN THE PRESEASON: The Norse had a 1-1-1 record in the preseason. On Aug. 14, NKU went on the road and defeated Kentucky 2-1. Tom Suchecki scored goals in the 27th and 30th minutes to help the Norse get the victory. Both of Suchecki’s goals came from just outside the box. The first goal was a shot from a bouncing ball near the 18-yard line that went to the left of the keeper. He followed that up with a brace from more than 20 yards out to put the Norse ahead 2-0. Kentucky was able to pull one back in the 75th minute, but NKU held on to preserve the victory.
A few days after the match with Kentucky, the Norse tied the FC Cincinnati reserve team, 1-1. Suchecki converted a penalty kick in the 25th minute to tie the game and score his third goal of the preseason. The Norse ended the exhibition schedule with a loss to Urbana.
FRESH FACES: NKU signed 13 student-athletes to its 2017 class. Jim Barkei, Victor Bjurhall, Felix Komolong, Alex Greive, Brett Wilson, Tom Suchecki, Rikard Lindqvist, Edo Durante, Abdul Kooistra, Jake Minkovitz, Joe Paasewe, Harvey Moyes and Isaiah Schatz will all begin their first seasons with the Norse.
Barkei, Koositra, Lindqvist, Suchecki and Wilson are transfers who have played at the Division I level. Komolong, a freshman, is the brother of NKU soccer alum Alvin Komolong. Schatz is also a freshman, and he earned a selection to the U.S. Youth Futsal Team that competed in Costa Rica in late July.
TOP RETURNERS: Midfielder Campbell Morris is back for his senior campaign. Last season, he led the Norse in goals (3) and points (6). Senior Dylan Carss and junior Calvin Murphy will once again provide leadership to the defense. Carss and Murphy played 1,698 and 1,666 minutes, respectively, in 2016 to lead the team.
UP NEXT: The Norse will travel to Eastern Illinois on Tuesday, Sept. 5. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Northern Kentucky University
Athletic Communications Graduate Assistant