Huskie women can't climb out of first-half hole in 4-2 loss to Air Force to open 2003

GO HUSKIES
GO HUSKIES

GO HUSKIES

FINAL SCORE: AIR FORCE 4, NORTHERN ILLINOIS 2


Score by Period 1st   2nd   OT  

Total

 
Northern Illinois 0 - 2 - - - 2 NIU now 0-1-0
Air Force 4 - 0 - - - 4 AFA now 1-0-0

 

Scoring Summary:
AFA --- Meredith Benson (Cookie Day assist), ten-yarder from left side, 22:35 Gone, 1st Half.
AFA --- Jennifer Rowland (Meredith Benson assist), 15-yarder in center off corner kick, 29:23 Gone, 1st Half.
AFA --- Jennifer Rowland (Meredith Benson assist), 12-yarder in center off corner kick, 31:56 Gone, 1st Half.
AFA --- Cookie Day (Erin Fitzpatrick, Stephanie Brown assists), seven-yarder from left side, 39:26 Gone, 1st Half.
NIU --- Air Force own goal, 64:15 Gone, 2nd Half.
NIU --- Kerry Walker (Unassisted), penalty kick conversion, 89:35 Gone, 2nd Half.


Statistical Summary:

Statistic NIU AFA
Overall Shots 9 20
Shots on Goal 6 13
Corner Kicks 2 8
Offsides 1 1
Fouls 11 10


 

HUSKIE WOMEN CAN'T CLIMB OUT OF FIRST-HALF HOLE IN 4-2 LOSS TO AIR FORCE TO OPEN 2003 SEASON

 

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO---Perhaps the mountains near the U.S. Air Force Academy were the perfect setting for the Northern Illinois University women's soccer team's season-opener here Friday (Aug. 29). The Huskies tried to climb back after allowing four first-half goals, but could not reach the summit in time to prevent a 4-2 setback to the AFA Falcons.

 

"This was a tale of two halves," NIU coach Frank Horvat assessed. "We showed up in the second half, but not in the first. We made them look really good in the first half, and then we turned things up. We did some nice things in the second half. I'm proud of my team and the way they kept playing and fighting. They never gave up today."

 

Meredith Benson keyed the Falcon attack which raced to a 3-0 lead with three goals in a nine-minute span. Benson opened the scoring off a Cookie Day pass, beating Leigh Steigerwald (Fort Lauderdale, FL / St. Thomas Aquinas) from ten yards out at the 22:35 mark. Benson then set up Jennifer Rowland for the second strike of the afternoon at 29:23, feeding Rowland from one of AFA's seven first-half corner kicks. That combination worked again just 2:33 later and Day completed the barrage off a Stephanie Brown pass in front of the net at 39:26.

 

Northern Illinois got on the board 19 minutes into the second half when Tiffany Anderson (Libertyville) sent a crossing pass off a Cadet defender into the back of the net behind goalkeeper J.J. Wolf at 64:15. Colorado native Kerry Walker (Greenwood Village, CO / Cherry Creek) made her Homecoming a memorable occasion as the Huskie defender notched her first collegiate goal on a penalty-kick conversion with 25 seconds remaining.

 

NIU was outshot 15-3 in the first half but actually took one more attempt than AFA (6-5) in the second half. The Huskies also yielded just one corner kick over the final 45 minutes while earning two themselves and Carrie Dvorak (Granger, IN / Marian) logged 45 shutout minutes in relief of Steigerwald, who tallied seven saves but gave up four tallies.

 

"The corner kicks and shot difference. That explains a huge difference in how we played," Horvat said. "If we had played like that the whole game, things could have been different."

 

The Air Force's midfield trio of Rowland, Benson and Day combined for four goals and three assists for the victors. Wolf collected four saves to earn the victory in net.

 

The Huskies look for a split of the weekend trip Sunday (Aug. 31) in a 12:30 p.m. (MDT) match with Colorado College. CC battled Fairfield University to a 1-1 overtime draw Friday afternoon.

 

-30- --- Copy by Robert Hester