By Myla Stewart
MACOMB, IL- Western Illinois men’s soccer is still on the hunt for their first win of the 2022 season. The Leathernecks’ next five games will be on their home pitch; starting with the battles of the North this weekend. First up is Northern Illinois on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1 P.M. and following that is the Northern Kentucky Norse on Sept. 20 at 4 P.M.
Western’s record currently stands at 0-3-2 in the season. Coming off of a hard-fought tie against the Milwaukee Panthers (1-3-2) last Tuesday; the boys are still looking to get their winning season started. With starting senior-forward Xavier Brown scoring the lone game-tying goal in the 29th minute, he just might be the momentum the Leathernecks needed to get their season on track for success.
Western Illinois is fueled up and ready to take on Northern Illinois for their 31 matchup in program history. The last time these two teams met, it was a 6-0 win for the Huskies on their home pitch. This year NIU is hosting four new freshmen and six new transfer players; whereas the Leathernecks brought in 12 freshmen and four transfers. With numerous additions to both teams, this game is nothing short of fresh competition.
The Huskies are 2-2-2 this season, currently coming off of a tie and loss in their last two games. Freshman midfielder Angel Rodriguez scored the lone goal in their latest tie game against Lindenwood on Sept. 8. With conference play just around the corner, the NIU Huskies are looking to get one more result on the road before facing Western Michigan Sept. 23.
With a rough start to their season, Northern Kentucky are looking to turn things around this week. Before traveling to Western Illinois, NKU will play another conference game against Purdue Fort Wayne in an effort to gain another result at home. With a current record of 2-3 in regular season and 0-1 in conference, the Norse are prepared to come in fighting for a win.
Both games this weekend will be home field advantage for Western, in hopes that they can change the tempo of their season before conference play begins.