1-0 Shutout Boosts NIU Men's Soccer Winning Streak To Five In A
IL With a fourth consecutive 1-0 shutout road victory
this time at Eastern Illinois University on Sunday (Oct. 2)
the Northern Illinois University mens soccer squad extended
its winning streak to five in a row.
The string of
success has NIU at 7-2-1 on the season as the Huskies now prepare
for their Mid-American Conference opener a Friday (Oct. 7)
high noon showdown at Bowling Green State University which will
cap off a five-match road swing. The latest triumph had another
unusual twist in that the host Panthers and Northern Illinois had
to sit out a half-hour rain delay which turned EIUs home field
into a virtual quagmire.
the Huskies scored just 50 seconds into the second half as Chris
VanDuerm (Wheaton Warrenville South) got his fourth matchwinner
of the season. The NIU leader in goals (with four) followed up on
a Drew Jeskey (St. Charles / East) shot with a 15-yard blast from
the middle that found its way into the upper right corner past Eastern
Illinois goalie Nick Alexander.
struggling with our play in the first half, we were able to jump
on them quick after the rain delay and that was a key, NIU
coach Steve Simmons noted. Last week they (EIU) had to cancel
a match due to rain and their field really hadnt recovered.
Considering it was shaky to start, it became a real mess and there
werent a lot of chances to be had due to the sloppiness.
a game like that, one slip can turn things quickly. I thought our
defenders stayed disciplined and steady, which means getting a shutout
is extra special, Simmons added.
It was the the
fifth time keeper Steve Goletz (Downers Grove / South) and Company
were able to keep Northern Illinois net unruffled. For Goletz,
it was also the senior goalies 12th career shutout.
was once again steady, but I also thought Paul Gabel (Dunoon, Scotland
/ Dunoon Academy) was big time on defense. Steve Algozino (Frankfort
/ Lincoln-Way East) and Jeskey really stepped up for us. This was
Drews first start, since we rested Chris Rufa (Downers Grove
/ South) and he not only played a lot of minutes, but played well.
I also thought Jose Alvarado (Elgin / Burlington Central) gave us
a quality match, Simmons said.
With the victory,
Northern Illinois gained a measure of revenge for last years
home-opening 2-0 loss to Eastern Illinois and also narrowed EIUs
all-time series lead to 17-6-2. After Fridays visit to Bowling
Green State, NIU returns to Huskie Soccer Field for a Sunday (Oct.
9) 1 p.m. home date with Loyola University of Chicago.