Men’s soccer goes 1-1 in Utah

By Mateo Avila

The men’s soccer team defeated their first top-10 ranked team since 2008 when they beat the No. 10 ranked University of Nebraska – Omaha Mavericks Friday by a score of 1-0 on a goal from sophomore forward Jan Maertins.

NIU traveled to Orem, Utah for a pair of games on Friday and Sunday. The Huskies (3-4, 0-0 Mid American Conference) faced the Mavericks and the California State University, Sacramento Hornets, splitting the two games.


Friday- University of Nebraska — Omaha

A first half goal from Maertins was the lone goal of the match as the men’s soccer team defeated No. 10 Mavericks 1-0, Friday.

Head Coach Ryan Swan praised his team’s performance against a talented ranked team.

“This may have been our best performance of the season,” said Swan, according to NIU Media Services. “Omaha is a very good team, we knew that going in and we knew it would be a difficult contest.”

The Mavericks were the aggressors for much of the first half as they recorded ten first half shots to the Huskies two, but redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Konrad Dziedzic recorded two saves and the shutout in the victory.

The Huskies took the lead on the their first shot of the game as freshman forward Alex Welch took a loose ball from midfield and sent it through the Mavericks defense to Maertins in minute 38. Maertins got the ball past Mavericks senior goalkeeper Joseph Ghitis to give the Huskies the 1-0 lead, which would end as the final score.

The Huskies became the aggressors in the second half, as they had a 9-2 advantage in shots and 3-1 edge in corner kicks.

Both teams accumulated a high amount of fouls as the Mavericks ended the game with 12 and the Huskies finished with 11. The Huskies aggressiveness cost them a player in minute 79, as senior midfielder Jerome Roche was issued a red card and the Huskies were cut to 10 players.

Despite their advantage, the Mavericks weren’t able to record a shot and the Huskies finished with the win.


Sunday- California State University, Sacramento

In a high-scoring game that saw seven goals scored, the men’s soccer team fell to the Sacramento Hornets 4-3 Sunday.

Swan was disappointed with the outcome but thought the team played well on offense.

“A couple key moments in the game went against us,” Swan said. “It’s tough to fault the [players] because it’s hard to play two games in three days. We may have had some heavy legs.”

The Hornets opened the high scoring affair in minute 18 when sophomore midfielder Christian Webb got a ball past redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Konrad Dziedzic to give the Hornets an early 1-0 lead.

Just seven minutes later, senior midfielder Trevor Jackson scored a penalty shot goal to give the Hornets a 2-0 advantage.

Maertins scored his third goal of the season and cut the Hornets lead in half as he scored a goal four seconds before halftime to cut the deficit to 2-1 going into the intermission.

The Huskies were able to even the score in minute 52, as Welch netted his third goal of the season and tied the game at 2-2.

NIU had a chance to take the lead in minute 69, but Maertins was unable to put a cross from freshman forward Sheridan Smith on target. 11 minutes later, the Hornets regained a one goal lead when freshman forward Justin Bedigtb headed a goal past Dziedzic to give the Hornets 3-2 lead.

Three minutes later, Bedig scored another goal to give the Hornets a two goal lead once again.

The Huskies had a quick counter as junior forward Noah Brodie scored a goal in minute 85 to cut the deficit to 4-3, but that was as close as the Huskies would get to the Hornets as NIU was unable to find the equalizer.

The Huskies will return home for their next game against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers. Swan said the team has seen Milwaukee play and knows they are a tough team to face.

“[Mikwaukee] is a tough team with some excellent attacking players,” Swan said. “Despite losing [Sunday], I think the guys are feeling good about where we are and are excited to get back on the field.”

The Huskies will be back on their home field 7 p.m. Wednesday when they host the Panthers at the NIU Soccer and Track & Field Complex.