Oct. 1, 2010
DEKALB, Ill.- Sophomore Lauren Eberts scored a goal in just the third minute of the second half as the Northern Illinois women's soccer team (6-4-0, 2-1-0 MAC) downed the Buffalo Bulls (1-10-0, 0-3-0 MAC), 1-0, to garner its second-straight Mid-American Conference win at the NIU Soccer and Track & Field Complex on Friday. With the win, the Huskies, who claimed their fifth shutout of the season, now hold a 5-1-0 record at home.
The Huskies took the lead early in the second half, when Eberts scored in the 47th minute to give NIU a 1-0 lead. The play began when Shelbi Johnson fired a cornerkick across the field, where Eberts received the ball on a rebound from the Buffalo defense. Then facing multiple defenders, Eberts dribbled past an initial Bull before firing the ball through two defenders and past the Bulls goalkeeper, to find the back left of the Buffalo net. The game-winner was Eberts first collegiate goal.
Dominating play throughout, the Huskies outshot the Bulls 19-4 and held a 10-4 advantage in cornerkicks. The Huskies recorded a season-high 12 shots on goal en route to their fifth shutout of the 2010 season, while holding their opponents without any shots on goal. Freshman Amy Carr was credited with her fifth shutout, a mark that places her fifth in the NIU record books for most shutouts in a season.
Offensively, NIU saw 10 Huskies fire shots in the game, with four Huskies recording multiple shot attempts. Senior captain Mo Smunt led the Huskies with five shots and two shots on goal. Megan Harry and Johnson each registered three shots, with one on goal, while Kelsey Passaglia also had a multi-shot game, with two shot attempts and one shot on goal.
The Huskies came out firing in the first half of play, outshooting Buffalo six to two, while recording four shots on goal and earning four cornerkicks. Complimenting a strong Huskie offense, the NIU defense held its opponents to just one cornerkick and two shot attempts in the half.
Coming out even stronger in the second half, the Huskies outpowered the Bulls, controlling the ball for majority of the half. Outshooting Buffalo 13-2, the Huskies also earned six cornerkicks to Buffalo's three. Bulls goalkeeper Ainsley Wheldon recorded seven saves in the half, 11 total, but it was not enough as the Huskies we able to find the back of the net in the 47th minute of play to give NIU the 1-0 win.
While the Huskies dominated the Bulls in nearly every statistical category, head Northern Illinois women's soccer coach Carrie Barker felt the team played stronger as a unit in the second half.
"We came out a bit flat in the first half," said Barker. "I was pleased with our second-half performance. We created many opportunities and we were able to come out with a win."
The Huskies will continue MAC action at home on Sunday, when NIU hosts Kent State (1-6-3, 0-3-0 MAC) in a 1 p.m. contest at the NIU Soccer and Track & Field Complex.