SCORE: MIAMI (OH) 3, NORTHERN ILLINOIS 1
now 12-2-1 overall, 9-1-0 in the MAC
now 5-9-0 overall, 3-6-0 in the MAC
MU --- Andrea Cunningham (Danielle Altiero assist), 12:13 Gone.
MU --- Andrea Cunningham (Unassisted), 62:37 Gone.
NIU --- Chanelle Crosby (Unassisted), 80:22 Gone.
MU --- Danielle Berkemeier (Andrea Cunningham asst), 89:44 Gone
SECURES MAC REGULAR-SEASON TITLE, TOP SEED WITH
3-1 VICTORY OVER HUSKIE WOMEN
IL---Experience can mean the difference between winning and losing. Just
ask the Northern Illinois University women's soccer team, which learned
a valuable lesson Friday (Oct. 18) as a veteran Miami (OH) University
team took advantage of two NIU miscues and went on to defeat the Huskies,
wrapped up the regular-season Mid-American Conference title and the top
seed in the conference tournament with the victory, winning its fourth
in a row to move to 11-2-1 overall and 9-1-0 in the league. Northern Illinois
dropped to 5-9-0 on the season and 3-6-0 in the MAC with its third consecutive
made two big mistakes and were behind 2-0 when it should be 0-0 against
a really good team," NIU coach Frank Horvat said. "Our play
at times showed how far we have come as a team. We just need to be more
consistent and take away the big mistakes. If we can do that, we'll win
games. I'm proud of the way we stepped up, but we need to learn how to
win this kind of game."
RedHawks got on the board at the 12:13 mark when Danielle Altiero intercepted
a clearing pass to start a two-on-one counterattack in the Huskie zone.
Altiero found Andrea Cunningham running down the right side and fed the
senior forward for an eight-yard shot against a defenseless Leigh Steigerwald
(Fort Lauderdale, FL / St. Thomas Aquinas) to put the visitors ahead 1-0.
had to settle for that one-goal margin at the intermission despite outshooting
NIU 11-6, with no Huskie attempts reaching MU netminder Leigh Terry. The
lead swelled to 2-0 at 62:37 when Cunningham's ten-yard shot slipped off
of Steigerwald's hands into the net, giving the RedHawks a seemingly comfortable
lead. But Chanelle Crosby (Englewood, CO / Littleton Arapahoe) pulled
Northern Illinois to within 2-1 at 80:22 when the freshman lofted a 25-yard
shot past a diving Terry into the far corner of the net for her third
goal of the year.
revitalized NIU had several chances to post the equalizer as Miami struggled
to clear its own zone, but Denise Papke (New Lenox / Lincoln-Way) lifted
two shots over the crossbar and Tiffany Anderson (Libertyville) had an
open shot from ten yards out but could not beat Terry. Danielle Berkemeier
put the match out of reach at 89:44 by converting Cunningham's pass for
her tenth goal of the season.
experience played a role in the victory, with Miami coach Bobby Kramig
starting five seniors as the RedHawks defended their top seed in the MAC's
preseason coaches' poll. Cunningham's five points make her the conference's
all-time leading scorer with 126 in her four-year career, three more than
fellow senior Berkemeier.
had Miami on the ropes. We had our chances against a team we're not supposed
to be on the same field with," Horvat noted. "They have six
seniors, we have none. We played well enough to win, but we didn't perform
when we needed it. Denise shot the ball high and Tiffany hit their goalkeeper
with a shot with an open side. They're little things that add up big on
the scoreboard. Just being in the game isn't good enough, because the
scoreboard just shows that we lost. People
won't remember how hard we played, they just remember the final score."
Huskies conclude a three-match homestand Sunday (Oct. 20) versus Ball
State University. That 2:30 p.m. meeting follows the match between the
NIU men's team and Western Michigan University, which begins at noon.
--- Copy by Robert Hester