Oct. 20, 2009
Box Score in PDF Format
DeKALB - In a season dictated by energy, the Northern Illinois men's soccer team had it in spades as they beat Milwaukee, 5-1, to retain the LeWang Cup, Tuesday at the NIU Soccer and Track & Field Complex.
Northern Illinois (7-6-1, 1-2-0 Mid-American Conference) has now held the cup for four consecutive years, the longest the Huskies have held it since the teams began playing for the travelling trophy in 1981. The four goal margin of victory is the largest in the series since 1991, when the Huskies also won 5-1.
"(The LeWang Cup) is a big deal to us," NIU head coach Eric Luzzi said. "Credit to the guys for using that as motivation to come out with the proper level of energy."
Luzzi knew heading in to Tuesday's non-conference match that, as it has been all season, intensity on the field would be the key to victory.
"We came out ready to play, with a lot of energy and we were able to get a leg up early because of that," Luzzi said.
The Huskies opened the scoring in the 18th minute of play, as senior Luis De La Cerda (Guadalajara, Mexico/Waubonsie Valley) and Josh Karsten (Barrington Hills, Ill./Barrington) connected for a goal. De La Cerda played a free kick from the right side of the box into the mouth of the goal, where Karsten headed it in for his fourth goal of the season. The score was one of two Northern Illinois scored off of set pieces.
"We had dangerous service, and we had commitmed runs, which I would expect from our guys," Luzzi said of his team's set piece output.
NIU's second tally came in the 26th minute, as Brad Horton (Sycamore, Ill./Sycamore) found the net to put the Huskies ahead 2-0. Karsten and Ben Thomas (Hamilton, Ohio/Fairfield) assisted Horton's fifth goal of the year. The scoring onslaught continued less than two minutes into the second half, as Thomas was taken down in the box and cashed in on a penalty kick to put NIU on top 3-0.
Jason Guehler (The Colony, Texas/The Colony) and Johnny Tyma (Mundelein, Ill./Mundelein) added goals in the 64th and 88th minutes, respectively. Luzzi was quick to point out that the 5-1 result did not reflect the quality opposition Milwaukee usually presents on the field.
"To be fair to Milwaukee, we caught them on a flat day," he said. "They are a pretty good team who has been playing well lately."
Northern Illinois returns to MAC action when it faces Florida Atlantic on the road, Sunday.