Aug. 25, 2006
EVANSTON, IL -- For the Northern Illinois University men's soccer team, Friday's (Aug. 25) season-opening victory was simply a case of one down and hopefully, many more to come.
"I told the guys the season isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. This is a good start, but we've got a long way still to go," NIU head coach Steve Simmons said in summing up the Huskies' 2-0 triumph over the University of Dayton in the opening match of Northwestern University's Lakeside Classic tournament. Northern Illinois will be back in action on Sunday (Aug. 27) at 1:30 p.m. when the Huskies face two-time defending Colonial Athletic Association champion Hofstra University. HU's Pride began the tourney Friday dropping a hard-fought 2-1 battle with the host Northwestern Wildcats.
Northern Illinois controlled play early on as indicated by an 8-4 first-half advantage in overall attempts and a 4-1 edge in shots directly on goal. With 30:42 gone, Jose Alvarado (Elgin / Burlington Central) set up Chris Rufa (Downers Grove / South) for an eight-yard header. NIU made it a 2-0 cushion 17:06 into the second half when Steve Kolzow (Aurora / Waubonsie Valley) one-touched a five-yarder off a cross by Kevin Woerner (Elmhurst / York). Dayton (0-1-0) was the aggressor for the final 20 minutes of the match, but NIU senior goalie Matt Corcoran (Downers Grove / North) turned away UD's five shots on goal for the fourth shutout of his career.
"Our intensity was decent overall and we controlled the tempo and play in the midfield for most of the match. Dayton really came after us over the last 20 minutes and we could've managed that a little better. We just need to move the ball around better to take the sting out of their ball movement," Simmons said. "Matt had a good game in goal as did our back line of Drew Jeskey (St. Charles / East), Rufa (Downers Grove / South), and Steve Algozino (Frankfort / Lincoln Way-East). Those three are always kind of the unsung heroes, but the success often starts from the back and goes up field."
Northern Ilinois finished the contest with a 12-9 edge in overall attempts and 7-4 advantage for on-target try while corner kicks were even at 3-3. Dayton's Flyers finished on top in fouls by a 21-15 tally and UD keeper Nick Tarkany was credited with five stops.
(For further information, please contact Steve Nemeth) --NIU--
MEN'S SOCCER -- Northern Illinois University vs. University of Dayton / Northwestern University's Lakeside Classic / Thomas Athletic Complex / Evanston, IL / Friday, Aug. 25, 2006
NORTHERN ILLINOIS 2, DAYTON 0
Score by Halves 1 2 -- F
Northern Illinois 1 1 -- 2 NIU now 1-0-0
Dayton 0 0 -- 0 UD now 0-1-0
NIU -- Chris Rufa (Jose Alvarado assist), 8-yard header, 30:42 Gone, 1st Half.
NIU -- Steve Kolzow (Kevin Woerner assist), five-yarder from left side off cross, 62:06 Gone, 2nd Half.
Overall Shots Shots on Goal Corner Kicks
NIU 8 4 - 12 NIU 4 3 - 7 NIU 3 0 - 3
UD 4 5 - 9 UD 1 3 - 4 UD 1 2 - 3
Fouls Offsides Saves (Goalie)
NIU 8 7 - 15 NIU 0 NIU (Matt Corcoran) 1 3 - 4 (90:00)
UD 13 8 - 21 UD 0 UD (Nick Tarkany) 3 2 - 5 (90:00)
Cautons / Ejections: Yellow Cards -- UD: Simeon Zaprianov (14:59); NIU: Jose Alvarado (63:10).