Men’s soccer loses on an overtime-penalty goal, see its way out of the MAC tournament

By Quentin Wilson

DeKALB — The cold weather might not be enough to numb the pain of a heartbreaking loss, as NIU fell to Bowling Green State University in overtime Tuesday, eliminating the Huskies from the 2019 Mid-American Conference Tournament.

With the 2-1 win, BGSU ended the Huskies’ season and will advance to the second round of the MAC tournament. 

The first-round game of the tournament was a rematch opportunity from Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Falcons, yet provided similar results: a one-goal loss for the Huskies.

“[I’m] very disappointed that we lost the game; I thought we played well,” Head Coach Ryan Swan said.

BGSU notched the first goal of the game in the seventh minute with a goal from first-year defender Michael Montemurri. The first-year player met a cross from senior midfielder Charlie Maciejewski.

It did not take long for the Huskies to level the score, and in the 21st minute senior forward Jan Maertins put the Huskies back in the game. 

Sophomore defender Anthony Markanich was able to chase the ball down the right side before passing to Maertins who scored with a low kick while coming down the middle.

The first half saw NIU put up 11 shots to BGSU’s six. 

In the second half, both teams were scoreless, despite keeping the same intensity from the first half.

The Huskies got off nine shots  in the half while the Falcons attempted seven. BGSU senior goalkeeper Anthony Mwembia came out big for the Falcons in the second half. The French-born goalkeeper recorded six saves in the second half, keeping his team in the game.

“The goalkeeper made [some] good saves, but we didn’t strike the ball as hard as we should have,” Swan said.

Maertins had a chance to give NIU the lead in the second half after passing the Falcons goalkeeper, but failed to capitalize on the open net. 

The forward found himself behind the Falcons’ backline when he met a pass from junior midfielder Alex Welch. Maertins had a one-on-one opportunity against Mwembia, and after rounding the goalkeeper, Maertins’ shot was too weak to create any danger.

Regulation time ended but not without one last chance from NIU. Sophomore defender Pierce Ugarte placed a header on frame, but Mwembia again made a strong save to push the game into overtime.

Four minutes into overtime, BGSU junior defender Achille Robin was brought down inside the 18-yard box, leading to the eventual game-ending penalty shot.

In between all the chaos that erupted after the official pointed to the penalty spot, Sanchez picked up a yellow card.

Robin’s shot went low right, out of the reach of Sanchez and into the back of the net.

Swan said he was not able to see the call, but knows the Huskies were highly upset with it.