Pair of streaks end as Huskie women post 1-0 victory over Southwest Missouri State





Score by Period 1st   2nd   OT  


Southwest Missouri St. 0 - 0 - - - 0 SMSU now 3-3-0
Northern Illinois 1 - 0 - - - 1 NIU now 2-3-0


Scoring Summary:
NIU --- Denise Papke (Maggie Nowicki assist), 20:21 Gone, 1st Half.

Statistical Summary:

Statistic SMS NIU
Overall Shots 16 15
Shots on Goal 9 6
Corner Kicks 6 4
Offsides 1 5
Fouls 15 14




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 overall.


Papke 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.


NIU 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.


"It's 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."


Papke's 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 Conference opener.


"That 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 that."


Steigerwald 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).


"It's 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."


Southwest 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 defender.


The 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.


-30- --- Copy by Robert Hester



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