The Northern Kentucky men’s soccer team will host Oakland on Saturday evening in Horizon League action. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at NKU Soccer Stadium, and live stats will be available.

@NKUNorseMSOC hosts Oakland on Saturday in Horizon League action

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – The Northern Kentucky men’s soccer team will host Oakland on Saturday evening in Horizon League action. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at NKU Soccer Stadium, and live stats will be available.

Northern Kentucky Norse (6-2-3, 2-1-1) vs. Oakland Golden Grizzlies (3-8-0, 1-3-0)
Saturday, Oct. 7 – 7 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 67-70-24 overall record as a head coach. In the past seven seasons, Riddle 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 suffered a 2-0 setback at Milwaukee on Saturday. The loss snapped an eight-match unbeaten streak for the team.

SCOUTING OAKLAND: The Golden Grizzlies are 3-8-0 on the year and 1-3-0 in Horizon League play. The program was picked to finish first in the Horizon League preseason poll for the third consecutive season. This year, Oakland is scoring 1.36 goals per match, while allowing them at an average of 2.45. The team most recently fell to Green Bay, who is unbeaten in the League. Earlier in that week, Oakland defeated No. 20 Michigan by a score of 2-1. The Golden Grizzles are led in scoring by Austin Ricci. He has seven goals for 14 points on the season. Nebojsa Popovic has also been a major contributor on offense, as he has four goals and three assists. In the net, duties have been split between Wes Mink, Sullivan Lauderdale, and Liam McQueenie. Lauderdale has seen the most action, appearing in six matches.

NORSE IN THE 2017 SEASON: The Norse have a 6-2-3 overall record and 2-1-1 mark in the Horizon League. The Norse are averaging 1.36 goals per match and allowing 1.00 goals per contest. Tom Suchecki leads the NKU offense with four goals and two assists. Rikard Lindqvist also has four goals on the year. The Norse have nine players who have recorded a goal this season. Jim Barkei has seen most of the action in the net for NKU. He has a 0.88 goals against average and a 0.778 save percentage. In the past nine outings, the Norse have given up just five goals.

HORIZON LEAGUE AWARD: Jim Barkei was named the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 18. The redshirt junior from Downers Grove, Ill., recorded a shutout in a 0-0 draw against Cleveland State. In the match against the Vikings, he faced 22 shots and made seven saves to prevent CSU from getting a goal. Earlier in that week, Barkei helped the Norse to a 1-0 win over Dayton. He faced 13 shots, making three saves.

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 are all in 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.

UP NEXT: The Norse will host UIC on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 4 p.m., and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN3.

Ryan Wilker
Northern Kentucky University
Athletic Communications Graduate Assistant

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