Men’s soccer ties its season home opener

By Marcel Carrasco

DeKALB — An overtime period was not enough to declare a winner during the men’s soccer match Friday.

The Huskies opened their homestead with a 1-1 draw against University of Wisconsin – Green Bay.

Green Bay was first on the score sheet with a goal from sophomore defender Clay Brown.

In each of the Huskies’ three matches this season, the team has been scored against first.

Sophomore defender Anthony Markanich scored the tying goal for the Huskies. 

The 2018 second team All-MAC player scored his first goal of the season with 11 minutes left on the clock. Markanich was assisted by senior forward Jan Maertins.

Maertins and sophomore forward Nick Markanich led the Huskies with four shots each. Maertins put one shot on goal while Nick hit two.

Redshirt senior Konrad Dziedzic got the start in goal for the Huskies, his first since the beginning  of the season.

Dziedzic started in 17 games last season, conceding an average of 1.54 goals per games. 

Dziedzic said he is prepared for the goalkeeper battle this season and will work hard to maintain his spot as the number one goalie.

“It’s always time to work hard,” Dziedzic said. “I can never relax. I have to make sure I perform and help the team as much as I can, and that’s how we push each other to get better.”

Dziedzic said he is still pleased with the way the Huskies played, adding the team was just unlucky in the finishing half.

“Besides that, the team is looking very well,” Dziedzic said. “Everybody is playing well together and chances will come down the season.”

Defensive struggles have plagued the Huskies so far. NIU has  been scored against first in its three matches this season. The Huskies went 2-5-1 last season when conceding first. 

“It’s been a frustrating start to the season,” Head Coach Ryan Swan said. “I think we’ve been playing decent [soccer] but given up soft goals.”

Swan then added he is still pleased with the way his team is able to keep their composure throughout when losing.

Swan said he tells the players to not panic and break away from their style of play.

“The guys did a better job of that today than they have the first two games,” Swan said. “The guys recognize that they are a good team, and good things will happen if they stick to the plan.”

In their opening three games, the Huskies have only scored twice this season, their lowest since the 2016 season.

However, NIU has tried 47 total shots while putting 16 on frame.

Swan says getting shots off is crucial and once the team can convert, the goals will come more easily.

“Anthony showed we don’t have to be cute in the box,” Swan Said. “We don’t have to be tricky. Once we get in a dangerous position – just put your foot through [the ball].”

Anthony finished the match with three total shots putting two on frame.

The defender is only heating up as he missed the season opener against DePaul University Aug. 30.

Anthony played 90 minutes against Loyola University – Chicago, but was silent throughout the game. 

Anthony said NIU was the better team throughout the match, but goal scoring is a problem.

“We just need to play our game,” Anthony said. “Once we play our game, we get the ball moving and create chances. We just need to finish more often.”

The Huskies will be back on the field at 4:30 p.m. Monday against Dayton University at Baujan Field in Dayton, Ohio.

Dayton is currently 0-3 with losses to University of Illinois – Chicago, California State University – Northridge and Ohio State University.

The Flyers finished the 2018 season with a 9-6-4 record and placed sixth in the Atlantic 10 Conference.