DEKALB, Ill.- In a tough contest between Mid-American Conference foes Northern Illinois and Kent State, the Huskies battled the Golden Flashes to 1-1 draw at NIU Soccer and Track & Field complex on Sunday afternoon. With a strong offensive attack, NIU came back from a 1-0 deficit early in the second half to tie the Golden Flashes, before battling KSU into double overtime.
The Huskies played to their first draw of the season when NIU sophomore Shelbi Johnson scored in the 51st minute to even the score at 1-1, after KSU scored on a penalty kick in the 47th minute of play. Northern Illinois is now 6-4-1, 2-1-1 in conference play, after battling Kent State (1-6-4, 0-3-1 MAC) to the 1-1 tie.
With a strong offensive strike and solid defensive performance from the Huskies, head Northern Illinois women's soccer coach Carrie Barker feels the team competed with great intensity.
"We battled and gave a 100 percent effort today," said Barker. "We created many opportunities to score, but we just couldn't find the back of the net."
Kent State opened scoring the second half, when a foul by NIU in the box set KSU's Annie Messer up for a penalty kick. Messer earned her first goal of the season, when she was able to sneak the ball past NIU freshman goalkeeper Amy Carr on the penalty kick in the 47th minute of play.
Northern Illinois answered back just four minutes later when Johnson put one away in the 51st minute. The Huskies evened the score, 1-1, when senior captain Mo Smunt crossed the ball through defenders to find Johnson in the center of the box. Johnson then fired the ball past KSU goalkeeper Kelly Sherwood, to record her second goal of the season.
Through the contest, NIU dominated play in nearly every statistical category. The Huskies outshot the Golden Flashes 19-11, while recording 10 shots on goal to KSU's four. The Huskies also earned six cornerkicks while holding their opponents without.
In a defensive battle the first half, the Huskies and Golden Flashes battled to a scoreless game after 45 minutes. NIU fired four shots, with one on goal, and earned two cornerkicks in the opening half. The Huskies' backline held their opponents without any shots on goal and just one shot attempt.
Opening the second half, the Huskies went on the offensive, outshooting Kent State 11-7, with six shots on goal and three cornerkicks. Following the initial Kent State goal, the Huskies were relentless in their offensive attack against the Golden Flashes, outshooting their opponents 4-0 leading up to Johnson's goal. NIU continued their offensive pressure for the remainder of the half, recording five shots on goal to KSU's two.
Despite a strong Huskie offense, the Kent State defense was able to hold NIU scoreless, and the two teams battled into overtime play. After going shot for shot in overtime, NIU and Kent State battled into double overtime where the Huskies outshot the Golden Flashes three to two. Carr registered one save for the Huskies, while Sherwood put up three saves for KSU, in overtime play to push the teams to a 1-1 draw.
With three saves in the game, Carr helped led NIU to the 1-1 tie, and notched her 30th save of the season. The offensive effort was spread across the entire NIU squad today, as 10 Huskies fired shot attempts to contribute to the offensive pressure.
Kelsey Passaglia, Courtney Ksiazek, Shelbi Johnson, and Mo Smunt each had multiple shot attempts in the contest. Passaglia led the way for NIU firing a team-high five shot attempts, with all but one on goal. Ksiazek and Johnson notched three shot attempts each with a shot on goal, while Smunt registered two shots and one shot on goal.
Following today's contest, the Huskies will hit the road for four-straight road games. NIU will kick-off the road swing at Akron on Oct. 8 at 6:30 p.m.