Men’s Soccer: Wildcats slip and slide to first victory in weeks


Susan Du/Daily Senior Staffer

Henry Herrill scored his first and second goals of the season in Northwestern’s home bout with Loyola on Wednesday night. The sophomore defender slammed the ball behind the Ramblers’ goalkeeper twice in less than two minutes.

Enrique Perez, Reporter

No. 25 Northwestern beat Loyola 4-1 under tough weather conditions to get back on track in its quest for the postseason.

The Wildcats (9-4-3, 1-2-1 Big Ten) were looking to improve their form, having not grasped victory since their win over Northern Illinois on Oct. 9. The Ramblers (4-10-2), on the other hand, were coming off an overtime win.

The game took place on a slick, wet Lakeside Field that saw vast amounts of fog roll in throughout the night. Conditions were far from ideal and made communication in both teams extremely difficult. It was certainly a tough night for former NU associate coach and current Loyola head coach Neil Jones and his team.

The Cats threatened early and often. Players stressed getting off to a quick start earlier in the week. Sophomore forward Joey Calistri nearly put NU up in the third minute when he had a ball cleared out of bounds in the slippery conditions. Footing troubled the offense for a bit in the early going. It complicated another early chance when junior midfielder Eric Weberman was unable to position himself on a fastbreak. Calistri supplied a cross, only for it to go behind Weberman.

The first goal came in bizarre fashion during the seventh minute as the Ramblers surrendered a penalty — and defender Brian Lunar due to a red card — when Joey Calistri broke through and was tackled at the right interior of the box. The wild play led to redshirt senior midfielder Chris Ritter stepping up to take a penalty, which he fired into the upper right corner of the net to put the Cats up 1-0. This was the start of an explosive 20-minute offensive display that ultimately earned the Cats the game.

Calistri went on to score the second tally in the 10th minute, thanks to a ball kept in bounds after a Ritter free kick was saved. Rambler goalkeeper Tim Dobrowolski made a nice save on the free kick but couldn’t keep out the header.

The next two goals were scored within rapid succession — within two minutes to be exact — by the same player. Sophomore defender Henry Herrill, who usually streaks up and down the flanks as a supplier, turned into a scorer as he slotted in a ball from a quick breakaway and stole a ball to bend it inside the far post.

“It was nice,” Herrill said. “I usually just try to contribute to the team as much as I can. I was able to make a defensive play, turn it into a breakaway, and just follow up that cross.”

The pair was the first two of the season for Herrill, and they put the game far from reach for the Ramblers, despite forward Enrique Garcia’s penalty shot. This also gave room for coach Tim Lenahan to field more players and swap players when needed. Substitutions were vital, considering both Ritter and Calistri went down with injuries in the game. Both, however, are expected to be healthy for Sunday’s crucial clash against No. 23 Wisconsin.

“They’re a senior-dominated team,” Lenahan said. “They’ve probably already clinched their spot in the NCAA tournament with their 10 wins and win over Marquette. They’re a very veteran group that have been knocking on the door these past years. Finally, this year it looks like it’s all coming together for them.”

NU hosts Wisconsin this Sunday in hopes of grasping a .500 conference record and perpetuating the success of this win.

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