Huskies Travel to Western Michigan for League Opener – NIU Athletics

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DEKALB, Ill. – The Northern Illinois University men’s soccer team begins defense of its Mid-American Conference championship on Friday, Sept. 23, when the Huskies travel to Western Michigan. Kickoff against the Broncos is scheduled for 5 p.m. CT.

NIU enters league play with a 3-2-2 overall record after topping Western Illinois, 1-0, on the road last time out (Sept. 17). Enrique Banuelos (Mexico City, Mexico/Virginia) scored the lone goal in the 50th minute, his first of the season, while Martin Sanchez (Bloomington, Minn./Kennedy) made two saves while picking up the shutout. 

Miguel Maynez Jr. (El Paso, Texas/New Mexico) picked up an assist on Banuelos’ goal against the Leathernecks, he now has three assists on the season, tied for tops in the conference. 

Conference play has a new look and format in the MAC this season. League stalwarts Akron, Bowling Green, NIU and Western Michigan have been joined by affiliate member Chicago State to form a five-team league that will play an eight-game, double round-robin regular season with the top two teams meeting in a single-game conference final. 

The Broncos bring a 5-1 overall record into Friday’s matchup after knocking off St. Thomas (Minn.), 4-0, last time out. Western Michigan has recorded five consecutive victories since a season-opening setback at Butler, including wins over Michigan State, Wisconsin and Northwestern. Dylan Sing and Charlie Sharp have each recorded eight points for the Broncos, Sing has four goals while Sharp has tallied two goals and four assists. 

Last season, the Huskies won 3-0 in Kalamazoo (Oct. 2, 2021). Banuelos scored a goal and registered two assists in the victory, Nick Markanich and Pepe Martinez also scored in the win. 

Friday’s contest is the second game in a five-game road swing for the Huskies which will continue next Wednesday, Sept. 28, at Wisconsin. 

 


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