Oct. 6, 2013
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois took on Buffalo in a MAC women's soccer match at the NIU Soccer Complex this afternoon at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The teams were physical with each other all game with players constantly fighting for position and possession. By the end of regulation, the scored was tied at 1-1. The first overtime went scoreless, but in the second, Courtney Ksiazek scored on a long floating shot that was just barely too high for opposing goaltender Ashley Wheldon, improving the Huskies' record to 4-7-1 on the season with a 2-2-0 MAC record. The win in double-overtime was the first in NIU women's soccer history in MAC play. The Huskies remain unbeaten at home this year as well, having a 4-0-1 record while playing in front of the home crowd.
"They were feeling each other out early on," said Head Coach John Ross. "In the second half, both teams started to get a feel for the game, and that opened up more opportunities on both ends."
Judging the game only by first half, this looks like a defensive stalemate. The two teams combined for just one shot over the first 45 minutes of play, which was attempted by Buffalo and ended up wide of the goal. The teams went into the half in a scoreless tie.
In the second half, the game's pace picked up. Both teams were getting some opportunities near the opposing nets, but defensive play was resistant on both ends. The game didn't have a score until the 65th minute. On that play, Buffalo's Karen McMahon caught Amy Carr (Hemel Hempstead, England/Townsend Church of England) out of position and floated shot just out of the senior goaltender's reach to give Buffalo a 1-0 lead.
The Huskies were trying desperately to even the score in order to at least force overtime, and they almost came through in the 81st minute. Cori Frankenberg (Appleton, Wis./Appleton East) had great opportunity right in front of the opposing goal. She hit the back of the net with a shot, but the goal was called back due to an NIU foul. Thus, the score remained at 1-0, but only five minutes later, things changed.
A Buffalo foul gave NIU a free kick from about 45 yards away from Buffalo's goal. Amy Carr
came out of the NIU goal to take the free kick for the Huskies. She drilled the ball at Wheldon, causing the ball to deflect off the Buffalo goaltender's hands. Ksiazek was right there to take the rebound, and she evened the score for the Huskies with less than five minutes left in regulation. The goal was Ksiazek's first of the season. The score stayed at 1-1 for the rest of regulation, and the teams headed to overtime.
In the first overtime period, both teams had scoring opportunities, but the defenses were able to prevent all scoring. As such, a second overtime period was needed. In that second overtime period, Ksiazek was the highlight player again. She had the ball from 35 yards out and shot it from there. It was a high, floating shot that was just out of Wheldon's reach, giving NIU the 2-1 win.
The two goal performance from Ksiazek was a career-best for her, it being the first time she scored two goals in a game. NIU hadn't taken a MAC overtime win since September, 26 2010 when the team beat Ball State 1-0 at home. The Huskies had never won a MAC game in double-overtime prior to this game.
The Huskies are going back on the road for their next few matches. First up is a game at Bowling Green, set for 6 p.m. on Friday, October 11.