NORTHERN ILLINOIS 1, SOUTHWEST MISSOURI ST. 0
Southwest Missouri St.
NIU --- Denise Papke (Maggie Nowicki assist), 20:21 Gone, 1st Half.
OF STREAKS END AS HUSKIE WOMEN POST 1-0 VICTORY OVER SOUTHWEST MISSOURI
DeKALB, IL---To re-phrase one old adage, "live by the shutout, die
by the shutout." The Northern Illinois University women's soccer
team turned that statement around Sunday (Sept. 15), ending two weeks
of frustration with a 1-0 victory over Southwest Missouri State University.
Denise Papke (New Lenox / Lincoln-Way) netted the match's only goal at
the 20:21 mark and Leigh Steigerwald (Fort Lauderdale, FL / St. Thomas
Aquinas) recorded nine saves as NIU ended a three-match losing streak,
improving to 2-3-0 on the season. Southwest Missouri State fell to 3-3-0
beat a pair of defenders to Maggie Nowicki's (Naperville / Central) pass
for a six-yard header to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead. An SMSU foul created
the opportunity along the left edge of the penalty area, with Nowicki
lofting an entry pass to the right post. Papke steered the ball past Bear
netminder Alexis Stormo for a 1-0 advantage.
had two chances to pad the lead but settled for a one-goal margin at intermission.
Southwest Missouri State threatened with a late flurry but Steigerwald
posted her final two saves in the closing ten minutes to earn the victory.
It was the first shutout victory by a Northern Illinois netminder since
October 8, 1999, when Stefanie Maurer and the Huskies blanked Central
Michigan University, 1-0, in overtime. Northern Illinois played Loyola
University-Chicago to a scoreless draw on Aug. 31, 2001.
always good to win at home," NIU coach Frank Horvat admitted. "The
defense really stepped up today, and Leigh made a couple of big saves.
We worked very hard and did some nice things today, then held on and played
strong defensively at the end."
goal was the first by a Huskie in 321:05, since the season-opener (Aug.
30) at Wright State University. After that victory, NIU had dropped three
consecutive matches by a combined score of 5-0, including Friday's (Sept.
13) 1-0 defeat at the hands of the University at Buffalo in the Mid-American
was a very nice goal, with a great service by Maggie," Horvat noted.
"Two players (Papke and Katie Klaas) were making a run, and Denise
went up to finish the scoring chance. It doesn't get a lot nicer than
made the one goal stand up, aided by an up-and-coming defensive group
including freshmen Kelly Kelso (Middleton, WI), Kelly Swisher (Rockford
/ Guilford) and Alexis Terry (Janesville, WI / Craig).
a great feeling to get a win like this," the Huskie netminder said.
"The offense played well today, and everybody just left everything
on the field. We spent all of practice (Saturday) working on finishing
our scoring chances, and it was nice to have that work rewarded like this."
Missouri State outshot Northern Illinois 16-15 and owned a 6-4 advantage
in corner kicks but could not dent the NIU net. Stormo posted four stops
for the Bears, with another NIU shot knocked off the goal line by an SMSU
Huskies return to MAC play Friday (Sept. 20), visiting Ohio University
for a 4 p.m. contest. NIU concludes the weekend swing Sunday (Sept. 22)
at Marshall University.
--- Copy by Robert Hester