Sean Su/Daily Senior Staffer
Northwestern’s men’s soccer team avenged their football counterparts with a 2-0 victory over Northern Illinois on Wednesday.
No. 24 NU (6-1-4, 1-1-2 Big Ten), which is now undefeated in its last six appearances, beat NIU (2-5-4, 0-0-0 MAC) away from home ahead of a series of tough matches that include a game against reigning National Champion Notre Dame.
“I thought we played pretty well and generated some really good chances. All in all I was pretty pleased with the performance tonight,” coach Tim Lenahan said. “It’s tough to go on the road midweek and play these games out of conference … it’s every coach’s nightmare.”
Senior midfielder Eric Weberman broke the deadlock for the Wildcats with a shot from outside of the box in the 43rd minute, and freshman forward Sam Forsgren doubled the lead for NU with 10 minutes to go in the match, scoring the first goal of his college career.
“A lot of the times with some of these mid-week games you need somebody to step up a little bit,” Lenahan added. “It was good to see two guys get their first goal of the year.”
The Huskies started as the brighter of the two teams, quickly forcing a save from senior goalkeeper Tyler Miller within the first three minutes of the match. Miller made three more saves in the rest of the game to earn his seventh shutout of the season.
NU was able to put some pressure onto the NIU goal after that first save with a couple of headers by junior midfielder Cole Missimo. One was blocked, and the other missed above the goal. The Dallas native was honored as Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Cats’ last match against Maryland, but was unable to get on the score sheet against the Huskies.
The game remained relatively even. It wasn’t until the the 43rd minute when Weberman, who came in off of the bench, skillfully curled a shot into the top corner to put NU ahead.
The Cats came out of the halftime team talk boosted by their lead, and pushed forward on the offensive. Freshman forward Elo Ozumba missed a shot in the 46th minute.
Forsgren doubled NU’s lead in the 80th minute. The goal was the first of his career, after good hold up play and a pass from fellow freshman Ozumba. Forsgren roofed it into the top of the net from a difficult angle.
“It was a relief after missing major chances,” Forsgren said of his goal. “Elo (Ozumba) did a really good job of making something out of nothing. … He worked it in for me and I ended up being one-on-one with the goalie and I decided to shoot it near post.”
The game itself was a relatively scrappy affair, with each team picking up 13 fouls in the match. No cautions were shown by the referee until the 74th minute, with NIU receiving the first yellow card. Just a minute later, Cats sophomore midfielder Brandon Medina and NIU’s tall, powerful senior forward Isaac Kannah both received yellow cards.
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Email: [email protected]