The Northern Kentucky men’s soccer team will travel to Eastern Illinois on Tuesday for a match against the Panthers. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET. This is the first road contest of 2017 for NKU.
Northern Kentucky Norse (2-1-0) at Eastern Illinois Panthers (1-0-3)
Tuesday, Sept. 5 – 2 p.m. ET
Charleston, Ill. – Lakeside Field
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 63-69-21 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 picked up a 2-1 win against Fort Wayne on Thursday, Aug. 31. NKU took a 2-0 lead in the first half, before the Mastodons pulled one back in the second period. Early in the first half of the match, Tom Suchecki put the Norse ahead 1-0, when he converted his penalty kick. Rikard Lindqvist gave the Norse a 2-0 advantage later in the half. He collected a pass from Calvin Murphy, broke free of the Fort Wayne defense and beat the goalie to the top left from 10 yards out.
SCOUTING EASTERN ILLINOIS: The Panthers are unbeaten on the year, sporting a 1-0-3 record. Eastern Illinois has played three Horizon League members, earning draws with Green Bay and Milwaukee, while picking up a win against UIC. The Panthers also earned a draw against Western Michigan. Federico Verlicchi, Alessandro Corti and Alex Castaneda have each scored a goal for the Panthers this season.
Mike Novotny has played all 420 minutes in net for the Panthers. He has allowed just two goals this season, making 36 saves for a 0.947 save percentage. He leads all NCAA Division I goalkeepers in total saves and saves per game.
NORSE IN THE 2017 SEASON: NKU is 2-1-0 on the year with wins against Oakland City and Fort Wayne and a loss to UC Irvine. Lindqvist leads the team in goals (4), points (9), and is tied for the team lead in assists (1). He also is tied for fifth in NCAA Division I in goals scored.
Suchecki and Wlademir Babaew also have also scored goals for the Norse this season. As a team, the Norse are averaging 2.00 goals per game on 18.00 shots per game.
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 all began 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 open Horizon League play on Saturday by hosting Belmont. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m., and the match will be broadcast on ESPN3.
Northern Kentucky University
Athletic Communications Graduate Assistant