A perfect season continues for the Northern Kentucky University Men’s Soccer Team as the Norse defeated the University of Wisconsin-Parkside 3-0 Oct. 28 at the Town ‘ Country Sports Complex in Wilder, Ky.
NKU, already ranked No. 1 in the NCAA Division II poll, has now improved to 19-0 in the season, the defense of which was a focal point for the win over the Rangers. The Norse outshot Wisconsin-Parkside 29-3 on the goal.
For NKU Head Coach John Basalyga, the win continues to add to the former school records of 16, which were set in 1995 and 2006, according to the NKU Athletics Web site. One of Basalyga’s concerns is the time of year, when it is harder to keep winning.
“Now is the time you can’t lose,” Basalyga said. “I would rather be 18-1 than 19-0, because with the way the season is going we just can’t lose a game at this point. The team has great confidence and they like being with each other.”
The Norse has given up only six goals during the course of the season and the offense has been running like a machine having 324-118 advantage on shots on the goal.
When asked how Basalyga prepares his team his response shows how he motivates his team. “I threaten them each game,” he said. “If they don’t perform well, I will make them run…when it comes to the time of the game, I want to win. I asked them ‘Which one would you rather have, a win to continue on in the tournament, or lose this game and spend two weeks with me,?” Basalyga said. “It’s hard to duplicate game speed and I feel that this motivates them to perform at this level.”
Freshman forward Steven Beattie started the scoring for the Norse with a goal in the 29th minute of the first half, his eighth goal of the season.
Senior defender Andy Bacon had the assist on the goal his second of the season.
Beattie was excited about scoring the goal. “It was good to score and to help the team out as long as we keep going, and the team goal is to get a national title,” he said.
Beattie later talked about his experience of playing his first year at NKU. “It was pretty easy to adjust here,” Beattie said. “I knew we were going to be good and I am delighted with the decision (to play here). Great Lakes Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Year Braden Bishop continued his scoring by adding a goal in the 63rd minute of the game, making the score 2-0, the assist going to Beattie.
The team keeps moving, and Bishop attributes the success to the whole team and not just a couple of players.
“I think it was jelling with the players, knowing each other’s strengths and that helps,” Bishop said.
NKU will host the final two rounds of the GLVC Championship Nov. 2 and 4 at the Town ‘ Country Sports Complex in Wilder, Ky.
The University of Indianapolis will face Lewis University at 5 p.m., in the first matchup of the semifinals.
Indianpolis made it to the semifinals by upsetting the No. 2 seed, SIU-Edwardsville, 10-9 in penalty kicks.
The Norse will next face Rockhurst University, which defeated Quincy University on penalty kicks, 5-3. The match is scheduled for Nov. 2, at 7:30, or whenever the Indianapolis-Lewis match-up concludes.
Bishop is ready to face Rockhurst again after pulling out a 2-1 win against the Hawks.
“We played on their field and the fans were rowdy against us,” Bishop said. “I want to play them (Rockhurst) here on our field and see how they play with our fans.”