Late Ehrlich goal gives Huskies win

By Carl Ackerman

Coming into last weekend’s Marquette University McDonald’s Cup, Huskie soccer coach Willy Roy said he would be happy with a split. That is exactly what NIU received, but it came down to a nail-biting finish.

With just 36 seconds left in the second overtime, James Ehrlich banged in his first goal of the season for a 1-0 win against MU (7-5-4) on Sunday. NIU (10-3-1, 3-1) was beaten 2-1 by the Univesity of Wisconsin_Milwaukee (9-5-1, 5-1) on Saturday.

Ehrlich’s 15-yarder from the middle resulted when Frank Sparacino set him up after a corner kick by Willy Roy Jr.

“We totally outplayed them,” said coach Roy on the MU game. “We played excellent ball. Defensively, we did well. We took third place (in the Cup) which is better than last place. I was proud of our team, and it was another shutout (No. 9) for Markus (Roy).”

NIU outshot MU 22-12, and Dave Weichman hit the post twice while Roy Jr. missed by inches on a few occasions, said boss Roy.

Weichman was the only scorer in NIU’s loss to UW-M. Todd Moore notched an assist on the five-yard shot with 6:44 gone in the first half.

Both Weichman and Ehrlich were picked for the All-Tournament team.

UW-M bounced right back with a goal of its own eight minutes later and added the winning goal in the second half on a controversial play.

The linesman had his flag up, and the referee was running to him to question the call. At this point, coach Roy felt the whistle should have been blown, and play should have been stopped. However, UW-M put the ball in play and scored within seconds.

“It’s absolutely unheard of and unsportsmanlike,” said coach Roy. “I hope (the referee) can live with himself after making that call.”

It seems that NIU has been plagued with controversial goals this season. In fact, all three NIU losses have involved controversial goals. In the 1-0 loss to Indiana, NIU believed the goal was scored after time ran out. In a 2-0 loss to St. Louis, the first goal was allowed even though goalie Roy was kicked from behind as he tried to catch it.

Coach Roy is still happy his team split on the road, but he wishes NIU would have won Saturday’s game instead. The loss to UW-M erased NIU’s hopes of capturing first place in the Big Central Soccer Conference.