Markanich’s overtime goal pushes Huskies past Western Illinois

By Marcel Carrasco

DeKALB — Another overtime victory is in the books for the men’s soccer team, extending its streak to four consecutive victories. The Huskies won 2-1 Saturday against the Western Illinois University Leathernecks in Macomb.

Both teams posted 14 shots, while NIU put 5 on frame to WIU’s 6. NIU has scored eight goals in its winning streak and has conceded three.

Senior forward Jan Maertins scored for the Huskies, making his third of the season. Sophomore forward Nick Markanich notched the game winner, scoring his fourth goal of the season. Markanich leads the Huskies in goals scored this season and has now tallied a goal in four of the last five matches. He led the Huskies in shots with four.

Western Illinois was able to get on the board with a goal from junior forward Ryan DeBois. DeBois equalized for the Leathernecks with his first-career goal at WIU. The loss to NIU puts the Leathernecks at 0-9.

After NIU’s opener, the Leathernecks responded with four shots on goal, including DeBois’ equalizer.

Although the Huskies won, Western Illinois managed to keep the pressure on throughout the game. After the Leatherneck’s equalizer, the match was open, and NIU’s stagnant performance didn’t make things easier, Head Coach Ryan Swan said in an NIU Athletics news release.

Martin Sanchez, redshirt first-year goalkeeper, got the start between the posts for NIU. The Huskie posted five saves, three of which came in the first half. Sanchez is averaging .75 goals against per game in four games played this season.

“Sanchez was arguably our best player; he had to come up with a couple of really big saves,” Swan said.

Sanchez has outperformed senior goalkeeper Christoph Koninger and redshirt senior goalkeeper Konrad Dziedzic. Koninger conceded three times in two games, while Dziedzic conceded six in four games.

The Huskies will travel east Tuesday for a visit against the University of Illinois – Chicago Flames. The Huskies defeated the Flames last season in a 1-0 nail-biter. Maertins scored the goal for NIU, and both teams shot 10 times. The Huskies posted 8 on frame en route to defeating the eventual Horizon League conference champions.

The Flames are 7-2 and are coming off a 4-3 overtime win Saturday against Western Michigan University. This will be UIC’s last non-conference match of the season. The game will be streamed through ESPN3. Kick off is set for 7 p.m. at Flames Stadium.