Northern Illinois men's soccer drops Lewang Cup match 1-0 to UW-Milwaukee


OCTOBER 22, 2004


MILWAUKEE, WI- One of the fiercest rivalries in midwestern soccer put another chapter in the books, as the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee defeated Northern Illinois University 1-0 in the John Lewang Memorial Cup match. The cup--dedicated to former NIU coach John Lewang, who lost his life in a car accident prior to the 1981 season--remains in the Panthers hands for the fourth consecutive season. UW-Milwaukee advances their record to 6-4-3, while the Huskies slip to 11-5 on the year.

"It was a pretty level game between two evenly matched teams," second-year coach Steve Simmons said.

Tough playing conditions greeted the squads, as a windy day in the upper-40s made play difficult early on. In the first 45:00 neither team was able to mount a serious challenge, with NIU getting four shots off (one on goal) compared to a single shot by the Panthers.

In the second half, UW-Milwaukee got a lucky bounce, as Dan Horst headed it off the crossbar and into the net for his fourth goal of the season. The door opened for a Huskie comeback in the 79th minute when UWM's Adam Gehrt received his second yellow card and was removed from the game, forcing the Panthers to play a man down for the final 11:05. At that point, the Panthers bunkered in on defense with the lead, and while Northern Illinois threatened late with the advantage, the Huskies were unable to beat the Panther keeper Eric Mickschl, who registered four saves in his third shutout of the year. Huskie netminder Steve Goletz (Downers Grove / South) allowed only his ninth goal in 12 games this season, seeing an end to a 378:33 scoreless streak.

"This game was very comparable to a first round NCAA game on the road," Simmons added. "We played well and brought the energy, but our eyes are on Sunday now."

Northern Illinois must now turn its focus to Sunday (Oct. 24), when they play host to the University of Akron in the Mid-American Conference finale. A Huskie victory on Sunday would clinch the MAC Championship regardless of the result of Friday night's Kentucky/Akron match, and also give the Huskies a free pass into the semifinals of the MAC Championships. It is Senior Day on Sunday, with game time set for 1 p.m. at Huskie Soccer Complex.