Aug. 31, 2007
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EVANSTON, Ill. - The Northern Illinois men's soccer team opened its season with a 1-1 tie against Bucknell in the opening game of the Northwestern Lakeside Classic, Friday.
The Huskies (0-0-1) struck first in the match-up during the 43rd minute of play, as Josh Karsten (Barrington Hills, Ill./Barrington) used a free kick to target Drew Jeskey (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) for a header that found the back of the net.
"Josh really placed the ball well for Drew on that play," NIU Head Coach Steve Simmons said. "I've known that set pieces are one of our strengths all off-season, and it was good to see the team prove that today."
Northern Illinois didn't hold the lead for long, as just over a minute after the Jeskey score, the Bisons retaliated with an unassisted goal of the foot of Anthony Ferraro.
"The fact that they responded a minute after we scored was the most disappointing part of the match," Simmons said.
Despite five shots on goal and three corner kicks in the second period, NIU couldn't retake the lead, and entered extra time against Bucknell.
Through the final 20 minutes of play, the teams combined to total only four shots, including just one on goal from the Huskies.
"Overtime is about being the strongest one left standing," Simmons said. "Overall, I think our chances were better quality in this match, but we need to capitalize on those chances."
The Huskies outshot the Bison 16-15 in the match, but placed nine shots on goal to Bucknell's six. Defensively, NIU goalkeeper Joe Zimka made five saves, while Joey Kuterbach made eight saves between the pipes for Bucknell.
The Huskies return to action Sunday at noon, when they face Colgate in Northern's second match of the Northwestern Lakeside Classic.