Aug. 27, 2006
EVANSTON, IL -- It was the proverbial good news / bad news storyline for the Northern Illinois University men's soccer squad for Sunday's (Aug. 27) final game in the Northwestern University Lakeside Classic.
The good news was that the Huskies overcame a 2-0 deficit to force overtime, but the bad news was that Hofstra University still managed to post a 3-2 victory that left both teams at 1-1 for the young season and the tourney as well. Host Northwestern followed up its 2-1 triumph over Hofstra with a 1-0 Sunday victory over the University of Dayton, which was beaten 2-0 by NIU on Friday.
"While I feel bad for the players having lost, I'm excited to see the spirit they showed in coming back from a 2-0 deficit. Quite frankly, we felt that there was an offsides call missed on the last play, so the guys deserved more than a lose," NIU coach Steve Simmons insisted. "They showed they can come from behind against a tourney-calibre team and put them on their heels. I really believe we take away a ton of positives from this season-opening tournament."
Northern Illinois' Chris Rufa (Downers Grove / South) and Marcus McCarty (Fort Worth, TX / Fossil Ridge) also took home all-tournament accolades. Initially, it looked as if the Hofstra Pride were going to take off on a rout as Michael Todd became only the third player in HU history to reach the 30-career goal plateau as he scored 25:24 into the match and again at 49:49 of the second half.
But that's when the Huskies mounted their comeback as Chris Van Duerm (Wheaton / Wheaton Warrenville South) set up freshman Ben Thomas (Hamilton, OH / Fairfield) for an eight-yard strike from the right side at 70:20. With just 4:59 left in regulation, Fraser Gibson (Dumbarton, Scotland / Dumbarton Academy) fed Rufa, who headed the ball over to McCarty, for a five-yard header that deadlocked the contest at 2-2. Rufa had the matchwinner in Friday's 2-0 shutout over Dayton's Flyers.
Hofstra's Chris Cox, who assisted on Todd's opening goal, earned a second assist by setting up Justin Flood for what was ruled the matchwinner at 94:16.
Northern Ilinois now heads to the Michigan State University Radisson Classic where the Huskies open play on Friday (Sept. 1) with a 1:30 p.m. (CST) match against the University of Michigan followed by another 1:30 p.m. (CST) contest on Sunday against the host MSU Spartans.
MEN'S SOCCER -- Northern Illinois University vs. Hofstra University / Northwestern University's Lakeside Classic / Thomas Athletic Complex / Evanston, IL / Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006
HOFSTRA 3, NORTHERN ILLINOIS 2 (OT)
Score by Halves 1 2 OT -- F
Northern Illinois 0 2 0 -- 2 NIU now 1-1-0
Hofstra 1 1 1 -- 3 HU now 1-1-0
HU -- Michael Todd (Chris Cox assist), 25:24 Gone, 1st Half.
HU -- Michael Todd (Arman Osooli assist), 49:49 Gone, 2nd Half.
NIU -- Ben Thomas (Chris VanDuerm assist), 70:20 Gone, 2nd Half.
NIU -- Marcus McCarty (Fraser Gibson, Chris Rufa assists), 85:01 Gone, 2nd Half.
HU -- Justin Flood (Chris Cox assist), 94:16 Gone, Overtime
Overall Shots Shots on Goal Corner Kicks
NIU 6 6 0 - 12 NIU 4 2 0 - 6 NIU 2 1 0 - 3
HU 6 8 1 - 15 HU 2 5 1 - 8 HU 3 1 0 - 4
Fouls Offsides Saves (Goalie)
NIU 5 7 0 - 12 NIU 0 NIU (Matt Corcoran) 1 4 0 - 5 (100:00)
UD 7 7 0 - 14 HU 6 UD (Nick Tarkany) 4 0 0 - 4 (100:00)
Cautons / Ejections: Yellow Cards -- HU: Ray Hassett (86:21); NIU: Fraser
(For further information, please contact Steve Nemeth) --NIU--