Soccer team ends road season winless

By Tom Clegg

Winning isn’t everything.

Just ask the NIU soccer team, which lost two more road games this weekend in Wisconsin.

Friday’s match was a 2-1 loss at Madison to the Wisconsin Badgers. The Huskies completed the weekend with a 1-0 loss Sunday to Wisconsin-Green Bay, giving NIU a 0-8-1 record away from DeKalb.

As NIU’s overall record fell to 4-10-1 after the Green Bay match, a defiant coach Willy Roy said, “This will be the last losing season we have.”

The Huskies held Wisconsin scoreless for the first half, but NIU was unable to score in the first 45 minutes as well. The Badgers eventually broke the ice 13:27 into the second half on what Roy called, “a very controversial goal.”

Roy said the linesman had his flag raised for four or five seconds—signifying an offsides on Wisconsin—prior to the Badger goal. The NIU defenders relaxed, expecting the official to whistle the play dead, while Wisconsin’s Andy Rectenwal took a pass from Roberto Sella and scored from 8 yards out.

Although Roy was upset about the no-call, he partially blamed his own players for stopping on the play.

“I think we’re going to learn from that,” he said.

Willy Roy Jr. scored the only goal NIU would get during the weekend at 15:13 on an unassisted 14-yard header.

Wisconsin ended the scoring at 30:52 when John Thomas beat NIU goalie Jeff Tweedell from 35 yards. The sophomore keeper told coach Roy he was screened on the decisive tally.

Sunday’s match was a microcosm of the Huskies’ season as NIU outshot the Phoenix 22-13 in a losing effort.

“We probably played our best all-around game of the season,” Roy said. “We’re the best 4-10 team in the world.”

NIU surrendered its only goal of the game 3:19 after halftime on Mike Dallner’s unassisted 25-yarder over the head of freshman goalkeeper Tim Spiegel.

“He (Spiegel) was out of position on that,” Roy said. “He had some butterflies, but he played well.”

That one goal was all the Phoenix needed as NIU was unable to put the ball past Kyle Destree, who Roy said made “four or five outstanding saves.”

Two of the Huskies’ best chances came in the first half off the foot of Roy Jr. The freshman was robbed by Destree once and had another shot glance off the goalpost.

NIU got close again with 30 seconds left in the game when Jim Pisani broke free in front of the Green Bay goal. However, his header sailed over the crossbar to end the Huskies’ hopes for a comeback.