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Men’s Soccer: Northwestern gets first road result since 2016 with 0-0 draw against No. 15 Michigan State

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Men’s Soccer: Northwestern gets first road result since 2016 with 0-0 draw against No. 15 Michigan State

Miha Miskovic makes a save. The sophomore goalkeeper earned his eighth shutout of the season.

Miha Miskovic makes a save. The sophomore goalkeeper earned his eighth shutout of the season.

Daily file photo by Alison Albeda

Miha Miskovic makes a save. The sophomore goalkeeper earned his eighth shutout of the season.

Daily file photo by Alison Albeda

Daily file photo by Alison Albeda

Miha Miskovic makes a save. The sophomore goalkeeper earned his eighth shutout of the season.

Andrew Golden, Assistant Sports Editor

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Men’s Soccer


Northwestern had not fared well against ranked opponents coming into its game against No. 13 Michigan State on Friday in East Lansing, Michigan.

In four matchups against then-No. 15 Fordham, then-No. 2 Indiana, then-No. 19 Michigan and then-No. 15 Notre Dame, the Wildcats finished on the losing end.

At DeMartin Stadium, NU (4-7-5, 0-4-3 Big Ten) played its best game against a ranked opponent in 2018, tying the Spartans (10-2-3, 4-1-1) 0-0 after 90 minutes of play and two 10-minute extra-time periods.

“The effort was fantastic,” Lenahan said. “We started all of our first-year players tonight… I thought we weathered the storm in the first half and in the second half I thought we put some good things together.”

In their previous four games against ranked teams, the Cats gave up ten goals, while scoring just three. In addition, NU was outshot 74-19 in those games.

On Michigan State’s senior night, the Spartans’ offense was constantly on the attack, but sophomore goalkeeper Miha Miskovic countered with a number of brilliant saves.

Despite the inexperience on the field, Miskovic showed his growing maturity by stepping up his game and keeping Michigan State from scoring.

“I knew I had to step up for my team,” Miskovic said. “I knew if I gave up a goal, the game was over.”

Overall, the Spartans took 22 shots, and Miskovic racked up seven saves. Miskovic now ranks second in the Big Ten in saves and first in the conference with eight shutouts.

After the Cats outshot the Spartans 5-4 in the second half, Michigan State came out more aggressive in extra time, outshooting NU 8-2 over the two overtimes.

But like he has all season, Miskovic again stepped up, making four saves in the two overtimes. In the first overtime, a left-footed shot from midfielder Jack Beck made Miskovic dive to his right to keep the game alive.

Miskovic continued his heroics in the second overtime, making a diving save to his left off a header by forward Dejuan Jones.

“That’s an instinctive save,” Lenahan said. “You have to anticipate where the ball is going. You can train that, but I’m not sure that you can coach that.”

The Cats have two games remaining before the Big Ten Tournament and despite the fact that they haven’t won in over a month, NU will take the momentum from Friday’s result into the rest of the season.

“When you’re turning losing into winning, you see a lot of ties,” Lenahan said. “Hopefully as this year moves on and next year as we bring a group back, those ties start to turn to wins.”

Email: andrewgolden2021@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @andrewcgolden

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