Men’s soccer ends year with loss


Senior forward Andrew Palumbo (6) attempts to get around a defender Saturday at the Soccer and Track & Field Complex. The Huskies closed their season without a conference win, losing 2-1 to the Bowling Green Falcons.

By Nicholas Ferry

Men’s soccer was unable to send its seniors out with a victory in its final match of the season.

The Huskies (3-9-5, 0-4-1 MAC) lost to the Bowling Green Falcons (13-5-1, 2-2-1 MAC) Saturday at the Soccer and Track & Field Complex. Despite controlling large portions of the game, the Huskies closed their season with a 2-1 loss.

“At the end of the day the margins in men’s soccer are absolutely razor thin,” said head coach Eric Luzzi. “I thought tonight was a microcosm of the season.”

Although the match started slow, senior forward Andrew Palumbo began to create opportunities for the Huskies in the 28th minute. Driving the ball deep into the Falcons’ territory, Palumbo advanced the ball toward the net twice within a few minutes, making the Huskies’ presence felt by Bowling Green.

The first half of the Huskies’ play was marked with missed opportunities. With a few good looks at the net, NIU was unable to capitalize on its chances. The Huskies missed another opportunity with a failed corner kick, and a few moments later they were unable to take advantage of a free kick that pushed the ball deep into Falcon territory.

Even though the Huskies controlled the tempo for much of the first half, Bowling Green capitalized on the few chances it was able to create, scoring two goals within five minutes of each other.

The Falcons’ first goal was scored unassisted off an NIU turnover by sophomore Joe Sullivan in the 32nd minute. A few moments later sophomore Max Auden scored the Falcons’ second goal with an assist by junior Ryan James in the 37th minute.

The Huskie came into the second half looking to build on their first-half control of the game while limiting the chances for Bowling Green. In the 60th minute, senior defender Dusty Page scored his first goal of the season on a pass from sophomore defender Richard Hall to bring the Huskies within one.

After the goal by Page, the Falcons stopped the Huskies’ momentum and held on to win the match, 2-1, allowing them to qualify for the MAC Tournament. The Huskies finished winless in conference play for the second-straight season.

Prior to the match the Huskies sent their seniors off with a final salute.

“It was an amazing experience,” said senior midfielder/forward Isaac Kannah. “We are more than just a team; we’re a brotherhood.”