Aug 16, 2013
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois women's soccer took the pitch Friday evening versus Valparaiso in its lone preseason exhibition of 2013 Friday evening. The Huskies created and finished a multitude of their chances, including two goals in 21 seconds, as they defeated the Crusaders, 4-3, at NIU Soccer and Track & Field Complex. Nicole Gobbo (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) recorded a goal and two assists in the match.
"We created a lot from the run of play and on dead balls," said Head Coach John Ross, "I wish we could have gotten a few more goals, but that will come in time. (The match) was positive from that side and the finishing was spot on. Our shots on goal percentage was over 50 percent today so we'll take that every time."
The Huskie offense jumped out early on the attack as sophomore Mackenzie Lewis (Woodbury, Minn./East Ridge) struck a volley 10 yards from inside the middle of box to the far post to give Northern Illinois the early 1-0 lead. Gobbo headed ball to Lewis from inside the box.
Gobbo set the table the again for the Huskies, this time in the 18th minute of play as she crossed a ball into the 18-yard box to the head of Cori Frankenberg (Appleton, Wis./Appleton East), who again worked the far post to give NIU a 2-0 lead over Valpo.
Both the Northern Illinois and Valparaiso defenses remained stalwart through the first half play and again for the first 25 minutes of the second half, until Valpo struck its first goal of the contest.
Running towards the end line, Crusader April Cronin dribbled into the 18-yard box horizontally towards the goal, before striking a ball towards the side netting past goalkeeper Amy Carr (Hemel Hempstead, England/Townsend Church of England) to cut the NIU lead, 2-1.
In the 84th minute, the marathon quickly turned into a sprint as both NIU and Valpo accounted for two goals each in the span of 53 seconds.
The Crusaders drew even with the Huskies six seconds into the 84th minute on a goal by Robin Wentzel as a ball fell from the grasp of Carr inside the box.
Only 15 seconds later, Allie McBride (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) took a free kick from over 30 yards away from goal and in front of the Huskie bench, firing a high ball towards the far post that sailed towards the upper corner of the frame. Valparaiso goalkeeper Kristen Manski put a hand on it but was unable to punch the ball over the bar to put NIU back in front, 3-2.
21 seconds after McBride's goal, Frankenberg sent a through ball into the box for Gobbo, who slipped the ball past into the side netting with her right foot on the far post to give NIU a 4-2 advantage. The Crusaders closed the scoring 17 seconds later with Cronin scoring her second goal of the match to end all scoring, 4-3.
Though the win does not reflect on Northern Illinois' overall winning percentage, Coach Ross was pleased with what he saw from the Huskies heading into the regular season.
"We go out and play to win every game, whether it's preseason or regular season, we want to win every game. The nice thing (tonight) was we came out with the win. There were some rough patches but in the end we know how to win and they showed that today."
The Huskies will open the regular season Sunday, August 25 at home against Eastern Illinois. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. Fans can watch the match live on Huskie All-Access (subscription required) and follow along on Twitter @NIUscores.
Northern Illinois 4, Valparaiso 3 (Exhibition)
NIU Soccer and Track & Field Complex
NIU: 5' - Mackenzie Lewis (Nicole Gobbo)
NIU: 18' - Cori Frankenberg (Gobbo)
Valpo: 73' - April Cronin (unassisted)
Valpo: 84' - Robin Wenzel (unassisted)
NIU: 84' - Allie McBride (unassisted)
NIU: 84' - Gobbo (Frankenberg)
Valpo: 84' - Cronin (unassisted)