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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Women’s soccer defeats CMU, clinches MAC Tournament berth

Tim Dodge
The NIU women’s soccer team huddles together before their match against Buffalo. The Huskies clinched a MAC Tournament berth with a victory over the Central Michigan University Chippewas on Sunday. (Tim Dodge | Northern Star)

A second straight shutout performance from NIU women’s soccer’s defense pushed the Huskies past Central Michigan University by a final score of 1-0.

Redshirt senior goalkeeper Sadie McGill kept the aggressive Chippewa attack at bay, as she recorded five saves on 22 shots faced.

With the win and a loss from the University of Toledo, the Huskies have clinched their first MAC Tournament berth since 2017 and their first season above .500 since 2008.


NIU senior forward Kierah Meier scored the lone goal of the game in the 67th minute, approximately 38 seconds after checking into the game for sophomore forward Madison Looby.

“She’s enjoying that role on the left side being dynamic,” said NIU women’s soccer head coach Michael O’Neill. “She could have had a goal on Thursday;, but today, she stepped up when we needed it most and put one away.”

Meier and graduate student forward Sahara Zingano led the Huskies in shots with 4 apiece. Meier was the game leader in shots on goal with three, despite only playing 40 minutes off the bench.

Former Huskie and graduate student midfielder Claudia Muessig led the Chippewas in shots and tied for the team lead in shots on goal with seven and two, respectively.


NIU now owns sole possession of third place in the MAC with a conference record of 6-3-1. The Huskies can clinch home-field advantage in the MAC Tournament with a victory over Bowling Green State University on Thursday.

O’Neill detailed why his team has had so much success in his second year at the helm for the Huskies.

“It’s great, but these girls have really put in hard work and commitment levels to get to this point,” O’Neill said. “I took over a program that was underachieving. I think they won 10 games in four years and a lot of girls didn’t know what winning was and how to believe in themselves. But, they’ve really bought in and invested their time and hard work into our vision as a staff.”

NIU’s regular season finale will take place at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Cochrane Soccer Stadium in Bowling Green, Ohio. The game will be streamed on YouTube, and live stats will be available via SideArm Stats.

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