Oct. 2, 2011
DEKALB, Ill. - Sophomore Samantha Hill scored her first career goal to rally the Northern Illinois women's soccer team and equalize the match with Ohio, 1-1, with 30 minutes remaining. The Bobcats struck back nearly two minutes later to recapture the lead and defeat NIU, 2-1.
Trailing Ohio 1-0 after the first half of play, Hill reinvigorate the team with the her level of play and score. Off a corner kick from junior Shelbi Johnson, sophomore Kayra Thompson headed a shot towards goal that bounced to the ground and to unsuspecting freshman Ashley Neubeck, standing in the five-yard box. Neubeck then flicked the ball to Hill with her right foot, and the Geneva, Ill. native finished the ball for the first goal of her career.
1:48 after the Huskie goal, Ohio's Erin Schwenke struck her first goal of the season into the net to lift the Bobcats back over NIU. Ohio had first claimed the lead in the 25th minute on a flicked header by Toye Famoudu.
Freshman Allie McBride flirted with her first goal of the season as she rifled a shot from roughly 23-yards out that beat the keeper and rattled the post. NIU was unable to get a second-chance effort on the loose ball in the box.
Northern Illinois reclaimed its sense of urgency shortly after the goal, playing with gumption and gusto to reach for a second equalizer. With just under 13 minutes left in regulation, Head Coach Carrie Barker pulled center back Taylor Conter and brought in an extra midfielder to maintain possession on the Huskies half of the pitch and tie the contest.
NIU pressured the Ohio defense, dribbling well in the attacking third, but was unable to find scoring chances and did not register shots until the final minutes of the match, one from Thompson and another from senior Kelsey Passaglia.
Earlier in the match, junior defender Lauren Eberts even got into scoring mode as she headed a ball at the net on a Johnson corner kick, ricocheting the ball off the cross bar for a near goal.
"We came out very flat in the first half," said Barker, "We played with energy in the second half, scoring a goal early and giving ourselves time to try and add another score. We had a defensive breakdown shortly after we scored, but I think if we had played with more energy in the first half, things might have turned out a little different today."
The Huskies fall to 1-9-2 this season and 0-4 in Mid-American Conference play, while Ohio improves to 6-6-0 and 3-1 in the MAC. NIU returns to action Oct. 7 and 9, traveling to Buffalo and Kent State to remain in the hunt for a conference championship berth.