Men’s soccer out of postseason contention

By Jacob Onak

In heartbreaking fashion, the men’s soccer team’s MAC tournament chances disappeared with a double-overtime loss against Hartwick.

The Huskies (4-12-0, 0-4-0 MAC) lost 2-1 in the 102nd minute and NIU will miss the MAC tournament for the first time since the 2010 season.

After a scoreless first half, it was the Huskies who scored first.

Sophomore Bertrand Gaschot grabbed his first goal since the first game of the season at Cincinnati. After junior midfielder Jayson LeSeth found junior forward Paul Hogan on the flank, Hogan played a ball across the box and Gaschot buried it home to give the Huskies the 1-0 lead in the 54th minute.

Less than 10 minutes later Hartwick responded. After being subbed less than two minutes earlier, junior midfielder/defender Jhevaughn Beckford found the equalizer for the Hawks. Following a blocked breakaway attempt from Hartwick’s Marc Russell, Beckford found the rebound to fire it past NIU goalkeeper Andrew Glaeser.

Following the goal NIU went on the attack once again. Junior forward Isaac Kannah, LeSeth and junior defender Dusty Page saw their efforts go high or wide and were unable to give their team the lead.

Glaeser came up big for NIU in the dying minutes of regulation time as he made a save against Russell to keep the match 1-1.

In overtime, NIU had shots in the first period, but Hartwick found the game winner just two minutes into the second overtime period.

Off a Hartwick corner, freshman forward Max Walcott pounced on a ball in the box and hit a left-footed shot past Glaeser to seal the win for the Hawks.

NIU head coach Eric Luzzi said the goal was just a reminder of how the season has been for the Huskies.

“We played all right,” Luzzi said in a news release. “As has been our luck all season, our opponent had one player make a big-time play, and that was the difference in the game.”

Hartwick (5-7-4, 3-2-1 MAC) will make its first MAC tournament appearance since 2009 with wins over NIU, Akron and West Virginia.

“The road to securing our playoff berth has had its up and downs,” head coach John Scott said in a news release. “But as a coaching staff we never doubted our team’s ability to make it there after our six MAC games. This has been a true team effort.”