NIU goes 0-1 1-1 in tourney

By Tom Clegg

NIU’s road woes continued over the weekend as the Huskie soccer team went 0-1-1 in the Illinois State University Redbird Invitational at Normal.

The Huskies battled New Mexico to a 0-0 tie Saturday. Sunday, NIU fell to Houston Baptist 2-1 to move its season record to 3-4-1 and its road record to 0-4-1.

Against NMU, the Huskies managed a statistical victory, outshooting the Lobos 13-8. Afterward, the consensus of the Huskie players was that NIU should have won.

“Overall, I think we dominated play today,” senior Barry Garofolo said. “We had our chances.”

One of the Huskies’ best goal-scoring opportunities came with four minutes left in regulation when freshman Rob Lisek took a pass from junior John O’Keefe seven yards from the Lobo goal. Lisek spun and shot in one motion, just missing the upper right corner of the net.

The Huskies had another chance to win with the final seconds running out in the first overtime, but senior Kevin Drew blasted a five-yarder just wide to the right.

Senior co-captain Jim Pisani had the best shot at winning the match in the second overtime. Pisani beat Lobo goalkeeper Dana Rogge to a loose ball about 35 yards from the NMU net, but Rogge blocked the shot with his hands.

Although Huskie coach Willy Roy screamed for a red card, Rogge was merely issued a yellow card for unintentionally using his hands outside the goal area.

The Huskies were at a loss for words to explain their recurring difficulties away from home.

“If you could pinpoint it, you could work on it and fix it,” sophomore Jim Corno said.

oy was equally as dumbfounded by NIU’s poor showing.

“I want our guys to win so bad,” he said. “Until they get into the habit of winning on the road, they won’t.

“Defensively, I can’t complain. But when we get the ball in the middle of the field, we don’t do anything with it.”

Sunday’s loss to Houston Baptist was more frustration for NIU.

The Huskies took an early lead on O’Keefe’s tip-in goal at 19:58 of the first half. Freshman Willy Roy Jr. took a direct free kick which was deflected to O‘Keefe in front of the HBU goal.

The Huskies of Houston Baptist tied the score at 26:57. Alexander Priori headed a 3-yarder past NIU goalie Jeff Tweedell off a pass from Jorge Cruz.

ouston Baptist iced the match at 35:17 of the second half when Jose Pastor took a pass from Jorge Pereda 10 yards out and beat Tweedell.

Making the all-tournament team for NIU were sophomore Preben Halle and Roy Jr.

Citing the Huskies’ subpar showing this weekend, Roy said he was “glad we didn’t have more guys on the all-tournament team or we might have lost both games.”

oy again said missed chances cost NIU the match.

“I’m happy we’re getting opportunities, but I’m not happy that we aren’t keeping our composure,” he said.