Men’s soccer loses two in Evansville


The men’s soccer team comes together in their game against DePaul Aug. 25. The Huskies are 1-2-0 to begin the season.

By Mateo Avila

DeKalb — The men’s soccer team participated in the ProRehab Aces Soccer Classic in Evansville, Indiana Saturday and Monday. The Huskies (1-2, 0-0 Mid-American Conference) faced two teams in the Bradley University Braves and the University of Evansville Purple Aces, dropping both games.

The Huskies were looking to keep the momentum going from their season-opening overtime win Aug. 25 against DePaul but were unable to get their offense going, only scoring two goals in the tournament.

Head Coach Ryan Swan attributes the offense struggles to a lack of confidence.

“I think it’s largely a confidence thing,” Swan said. “We are rushing our chances and aren’t staying composed in front of the goal and I think we saw that from our opponents. When they got good situations, they capitalized and we [have not been] doing that.”

Saturday — Bradley

The team began the weekend falling to the Bradley University Braves by a score of 2-1 Saturday. The Huskies were led by freshman forward Alex Welch’s first collegiate goal, the Huskies lone goal of the game.

Bradley got off to a first half lead when sophomore forward Roman Schindler shot the ball past Huskies senior goalkeeper Drew Donnally in minute 22. The Braves then doubled their lead in minute 32 when freshman midfielder Younes Dayekh got another ball past Donnally. Bradley took that 2-0 lead into halftime.

Swan wasn’t pleased with his team’s first half effort.

“The big thing for us is that we got punished for our mistakes today,” said Swan, according to NIU Media Services. “We didn’t have a very good first half and we gifted Bradley two good opportunities. The second half was good, I think we came out with a little more passion and fight, and that created some things for us. At the end of the day, Bradley executed their game plan better than we did over the course of 90 minutes and we have to live with the consequences of that.”

The Huskies responded when Welch scored a goal in the minute 51 off a penalty shot to cut the Braves lead in half, but they weren’t able to get another ball past Braves graduate goalkeeper Brandon Barnes, who finished the game with eight saves.

Monday – Evansville

The Huskies faced the Evansville Purple Aces Monday in their second game of the ProRehab Aces Soccer Classic but were unable to come up with a victory, falling by a final score of 4-1 after what Swan called a poor defensive effort.

“Guys were working hard but we got exposed in the wrong positions,” Swan said. “Bigger than that, a lot of the goals that we conceited came from our possession. We were giving the ball away in bad areas and we were punished for making mistakes.”

Evansville scored first when senior midfielder Arlick Ntabana scored a goal after spinning past two Huskie defenders and netting a high ball over redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Konrad Dziedzic in the minute 15 to give the Purple Aces an early 1-0 lead.

NIU had multiple chances to tie the game up with seven first half shots, but Evansville doubled their lead in the minute 42 when freshman midfielder Filip Johansson was able to get a ball past the hand of Dziedzic to give the Purple Aces a 2-0 advantage going into halftime.

Evansville then extended their lead to three when junior midfielder Caleb Williams headed a ball past Dziedzic on a free kick.

The Huskies responded three minutes later when sophomore forward Jan Maertins scored his first goal of the season to cut the Purple Aces lead to 3-1.

Evansville were able to take back their three-goal lead in the minute 68 when senior midfielder Ian McGrath scored on a penalty shot to give the Purple Aces a 4-1 lead that would end as the final score.

The Huskies will look to shake off the two loses this weekend as they return home to host the NIU Adidas Invitational, beginning with a matchup against the Stetson University Hatters 7:30 p.m. Friday and the University of Texas-Rio Grand Valley Vaqueros 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the NIU Soccer and Track & Field Complex.