Huskies drop season opener

By Tom Burton

The women’s soccer team dropped its home opener in overtime Thursday by a score of 1-0 at the Soccer and Track & Field Complex.

This was DeKalb’s first chance to see the team under first-year Head Coach Julie Colhoff. She said there were some notable things that made the difference in the loss.

“I feel like in some moments it was brilliant, and we executed the game plan really well,” Colhoff said. “One thing we need to get better at is when the game gets frantic, we can’t get frantic with it. We need to stay playing our style of play [and] I think it’s a learning opportunity.”

The Huskies created some early scoring chances with just over a minute played in the game when junior midfielder Natalie Yass got an early shot followed by a Huskie corner kick, but they came up scoreless on the offensive drive.

Sophomore forward Haley Hoppe tried to get it going for NIU as she had a game-high of three shots in the first half and finished the game with four.

Midway through the first half, junior midfielder Kelsey Chope had a breakaway toward the Western Michigan goal, but Leathernecks goalkeeper Ines PalmieroHerrera swallowed it up to prevent the score. She had six saves in the game.

On the opposite end of the field, NIU sophomore goalkeeper Megan Donnally finished with 13 saves in the game in an attempt to keep the Huskies alive.

The game was scoreless after regulation, and the two teams went to a sudden death overtime period. Western Illinois had the upperhand for most of the overtime as midfielder Bianca Romay finally got a ball past Donnally to give the Leathernecks a 1-0 overtime victory.

The Huskies are now scoreless in two games so far this regular season. Colhoff said some aspects on offense are notable for improvement.

“When we control the ball and trust in our ability to build, it looked really good,” Colhoff said. “When we start giving the ball away carelessly and [commit] unforced turnovers, that affects us a lot. We need to continue taking people on and take some risks to get the goal.”

The Huskies are back in action against the University of Illinois in their next game. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. Sunday in Champaign.