Nov. 6, 2007
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DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois men's soccer team celebrated senior day with a 1-0 win over UW-Milwaukee, Tuesday.
"The nice thing is our defense played well, producing a shutout," NIU head coach Steve Simmons said. "That allowed us to get just one goal."
The win gives NIU rights to the LeWang Cup for the next year, and this is the second year a row the Huskies have won the battle with the Panthers for the trophy.
"All the guys, including the seniors, wanted to make sure the seniors got sent off in the right way," Simmons said. "Winning the LeWang Cup in our final home match of the season did just that."
The match's lone goal came in the 78th minute, as a Huskie free kick deflected off UW-Milwaukee's Raphael Martinez and into the back of the net.
While the Huskies (6-8-4, 1-3-1 Mid-American Conference) received their only goal thanks to a defensive mistake, they had several chances to score on their own.
Panther goalkeeper Grant Fernstrum made four saves, including one in the second half on an open breakaway by Juan Hoyos.
But Hoyos' open shot was trumped by a penalty kick chance for the Huskies. In the 69th minute of play, Steve Kolzow ran onto a ball in the Panther 18-yard box and was fouled en route, resulting in an undefended penalty kick for NIU.
On the chance, Luis De La Cerda took a hard shot toward the right-bottom corner, but as Fernstrum dove left, De La Cerda's shot sailed wide right of the goal.
The Huskies will take the next six days to prepare for their MAC Tournament Quarterfinal at Bowling Green.
"We want to take the next week to make sure we catch up academically," Simmons said. "If we move forward as we plan, we need to be prepared in the classroom as well as on the field."
Last time Northern Illinois played the Falcons, BGSU came away with a 3-1 victory.
"We just played them, so we know the job that we need to do to advance," Simmons said. "We're looking forward to a rematch."