DeKalb | Following copious amounts of rain, the sky finally decided to settle down and let the women’s soccer team host Western Illinois without a single drop falling.
The Huskies (2-4-1) picked up a point at home by tying 1-1 with the Leathernecks (4-3-1) Sunday evening, which was preceded by a loss at Green Bay (3-2-3) Friday night.
Sunday, NIU engaged in a tough physical contest with Western Illinois, taking the scoring edge in the first half with a tally in the 34:54 minute by senior defender Kristin Becker. After an initial shot by a Leatherneck and a diving stop attempt by senior NIU goalkeeper Amy Carr, the ball dribbled past Carr and Becker was there to get the easy tap in.
The play in the second half picked up greatly, with three yellow cards handed out and both sides having a few close calls on scoring
“They’re a hardworking team, they’re a good team,” said NIU head coach John Ross. “We’re a good team as well. That’s part of the competition that we’re looking for, as well. Those are the games we like.”
NIU evened the match at the 60:04 minute mark with a line drive shot by senior forward Cori Frankenberg.
After that, there were no more points put up on the board, but the score sheet doesn’t show the close calls.
Western had a great chance late in the second half that was blocked by Carr and eventually cleared out by the Huskies.
NIU’s best scoring chance came near the end of the second half when senior forward Frances Boukidis tried to bend a shot inward from the left side of the post, but it sailed over the crossbar.
Regulation ended tied but the Huskies threatened within the first minute-and-a-half of the first overtime with a shot on goal that glanced off the Leathernecks’ goalies’ hands and rolled just wide of the left post.
As the sky darkened and sight was limited, the second overtime was hard-fought but was mostly attrition, as the final result ended in a tie, fitting for a seemingly very evenly matched game.
“Wish we could’ve come away with a win but I’m happy with a tie,” Ross said. “They did everything in their power to win the game. They played well.”
Ross was most impressed and encouraged by his team’s defensive effort.
“Our defense was just really solid today,” Ross said. “With our defense it’s all 11, which was the one thing we were definitely in sync with. From there that led to a lot of offensive opportunities.”