Nov. 3, 2013
OXFORD, Ohio - The Northern Illinois women's soccer team was on the road Sunday afternoon, taking on the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks in the first round of the MAC Championship Tournament. The last time these teams matched up was on October 18 earlier this season, a game that the Huskies fell 2-0. Despite getting a second crack at Miami, Sunday's end result was no different. The Huskies dropped the game 3-0, and with that, the women's soccer is over at NIU.
"We did a better job defensively this time," said Head Coach John Ross. "Still, Miami is a very tough team. They executed on their opportunities and also had some things go in their favor."
This game was tough from the start for the Huskies. The Redhawks dominated possession of the ball throughout, giving NIU little opportunity to get something going on offense. Even with the opposing offensive pressure, the Huskies managed to keep the game scoreless for roughly the first third of the game. The 30th minute was when Redhawks began to find success. At that point, Miami forward Haley Walter scored on a throw-in play, putting her team up 1-0.
Miami wasted little time to do more damage. Just over a minute later, Redhawk midfielder Kelsey Dinges made the score 2-0 in favor of Miami. The goal was an arching shot just out of Amy Carr's reach, and it doubled NIU's deficit going into halftime.
A common theme for NIU this season was that the team finished games well. The Huskies routinely came out of the break more determined to get the win. Sunday's game against Miami was no different. Lauren Solomon (Orland Park, Ill./Carl Sandburg) and Emily Nulty (Omaha, Neb./Marian) both made shot attempts in the second half that required opposing goaltender Allison Norenberg to make stops. She didn't fail, however, as the Huskies were kept off the board whenever they geared up to strike.
The Redhawks were able to score once during the second half, which came in the 51st minute. Miami took a corner kick which curled and bounced off the front of the goal. The Redhawks were right there to get the loose ball and punch in their third goal of the game, extending the Huskie deficit to 3-0. NIU would make further efforts to get back into the game, but the team could not find the back of the opposing net with any attempt. As such, the game ended at that 3-0 mark.
The Huskies finish the season officially at 6-11-3. "We'll look to give ourselves a better chance next season," said Ross. "If we can get a higher seed, it'll be easier for us to make a deep run in the tournament." Ross has taken the team to two straight MAC Championship Tournaments since taking over in 2012.