In case you haven’t noticed, no one wants to play Northern Kentucky University soccer these days.
That’s because the men’s soccer team has yet to lose a game, and the first of October is just around the bend, and the Norse are causing quite a stir in the Division II Top 25 polls.
Although NKU is primarily known for its hoops, the men’s soccer team is quietly putting itself in position to be the best in school history.
It may be a little premature to call the men’s soccer team the best in school history, but it already set the benchmark for all future NKU teams.
Judging by the final scores of the men’s soccer games, it’s hard not to say the Norse is quickly establishing itself as an elite team in Division II.
In the first eight games in which the Norse have gone 9-0 overall and 4-0 in the GLVC, it has outscored its opponents 25-4.
The Norse after one month of play have not allowed a goal in six of its nine games.
They have allowed multiple goals only once this season in an 8-2 thrashing of Ashland Sept. 14.
Local talent proving to be key for Norse
Head Coach John Basalyga hasn’t had to go too far down the recruiting path to search for the best young players in this area of the country.
And why should he? Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, although known primarily for its baseball, football and basketball prep standouts, also have a wide array of young talent on the soccer field.
Basalyga hasn’t had to look much farther than his own backyard for the majority of his roster. Only one player on the roster does not hail from Kentucky and Ohio, and a majority of those players come directly from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area.
The one player who doesn’t hail from either Ohio or Kentucky, Steven Beattie, was named the most recent GLVC player of the week.
Beattie, a freshman striker and a native of Dublin, Ireland, notched five goals in a single week, including a hat trick in the Norse’s drubbing of Ashland last week.
Defensively, the Norse is one of the top teams in Division II. Teams have struggled to get past the midfield stripe in the first month of the season as evidenced by the Norse’s advantage lopsided 145-61 shots-on-goal.
Although a long season lies ahead for the men’s soccer team, early showings indicate that the Norse will be a force in Division II soccer.
It’s going to be tough for any opponent that averages less than 0.5 goals a game against a stingy defense, and an offense that is averaging more than three goals a game.