Huskies let three-goal lead slip away as IUPUI rallies for 4-3 men's soccer victory



Score by Period 1st   2nd   OT  


IU-PU-Indianapolis 0 - 4 - - - 4 IUPUI now 1-4-1
Northern Illinois 3 - 0 - - - 3

NIU now 0-4-2


Scoring Summary:
NIU --- Brendon Parrish (Unassisted), 15-yarder from center after steal, 15:05 Gone, 1st Half.
NIU --- Tony Deldin (Kevin Woerner assist), 15-yarder from right side, 35:47 Gone, 1st Half.
NIU --- Tony Deldin (Jose Alvarado assist), five-yarder from right post, 42:15 Gone, 1st Half.
IUPUI --- Mike Sullivan (Adrian Conrad assist), five-yard header in center, 48:09 Gone, 2nd Half.
IUPUI --- Mike Madaj (Unassisted), 12-yarder in center after errant clearing, 67:20 Gone, 2nd Half.
IUPUI --- Mike Madaj (Ricky Del Toro assist), four-yarder in center off lead pass, 70:59 Gone, 2nd Half.
IUPUI --- Mike Madaj (Brandon Meyer assist), four-yard header off free kick, 86:06 Gone, 2nd Half.

Statistical Summary:

Statistic IUPUI NIU
Overall Shots 11 22
Shots on Goal 7 11
Corner Kicks 1 9
Offsides 2 1
Fouls 21 21




DeKALB, IL---Consider it "A Tale of Two Halves" for the Northern Illinois University men's soccer team. For the third time in the last two weeks, the Huskies let a second-half lead slip away in a 4-3 loss to Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis to close the NIU Fall Invitational here Sunday (Sept. 14).


Northern Illinois led 3-0 at halftime but gave up four goals in the final 45 minutes to drop to 0-4-2 on the season and leave coach Steve Simmons to continue the quest for his first victory on the Huskie sideline. IUPUI earned its first victory of 2003, with the Jaguars climbing to 1-4-1 behind Mike Madaj's natural hat trick in the second half.

NIU dominated the first half of play, outshooting the visitors 13-2 in taking a 3-0 lead into intermission. Sophomore midfielder Brendon Parrish (Rockford / Auburn) put the hosts on the board at the 15:05 mark, intercepting a Jaguar pass and lifting a 15-yarder past IUPUI netminder Drew Deffner.


Sophomore defender Tony Deldin (Lockport) took over from there with the first two goals of his collegiate career. The Lockport product beat Deffner from 15 yards out following Kevin Woerner's (Elmhurst / York) lead pass at the 35:47 mark, and Deldin needed less than seven minutes for his next strike, as Jose Alvarado (Elgin / Burlington Central) slipped a pass between defenders to find Deldin racing toward the far post. Deldin's one-timer established a seemingly-comfortable three-goal margin at the break.


The Jaguars' comeback began just 3:09 into the second stanza as Adrian Conrad found Mike Sullivan for a five-yard header past Joe Carrero (Richton Park / Crete-Monee), the Jaguars' first goal of the season. Madaj brought the Jaguars within one goal with his unassisted 12-yarder at 67:20, then leveled the score 3:39 later as Ricky Del Toro's lead pass sprung Madaj past two defenders for a four-yarder. The IUPUI junior then completed the hat trick with 3:54 remainin, out-jumping his mark to reach Brandon Meyer's free kick for a four-yard header into the corner of the net.


The Huskies' three first-half goals matched their total for the first five matches of the season, but NIU could not reach the net in the second half despite finishing with a 22-11 advantage in shots plus a 9-1 margin in corner kicks. But Deffner logged seven saves for the victory.


"Our players got confident, but then that confidence turned into Christmas and we're not good enough to celebrate like that yet," Simmons said. "Even the good teams don't celebrate like that, and we can't settle for where we're at. That's the hardest lesson to learn. We're not good enough to win a complete match yet."


Simmons also noted the similarity between Sunday's match and NIU's setback at Marshall University last fall (Oct. 25, 2002) when the Huskies led 5-2 with 24 minutes remaining, only to lose, 6-5.


"This was a valuable lesson for me, too. Now I know there are certain things we can't do," Simmons added. "We were up 3-0 and I put guys in there that didn't get it done. We moved into a 4-4-2 formation to play a more defensive style and it wasn't our day today."


Sunday also represents the third time in the last four matches that the Huskies have relinquished a second-half lead. NIU led the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay 1-0 at intermission before settling for a 2-2 tie on September 3, then allowed two second-half goals to erase a 1-0 halftime lead in a 2-1 loss at Eastern Illinois on September 7.


Northern Illinois gets another shot at its first victory Friday (Sept. 19) against a familiar foe. Loyola University-Chicago hosts the Huskies for a 7 p.m. match, completing a sort of round-robin to this weekend's action as the Ramblers defeated Oneonta State College, 3-2, Sunday following a 0-0 tie with IUPUI on Saturday (Sept. 13).


-30- --- Copy by Robert Hester