Men’s soccer downs Eastern Illinois, 3-0


Junior forward Isaac Kannah (7) rushes the ball downfield during Tueday night’s game against Eastern Illinios. Kannah scored twice in NIU’s 3-0 win.

By Jacob Onak

Men’s soccer made few mistakes against a struggling Eastern Illinois side Tuesday night, beating the Panthers 3-0.

The Huskies (4-9-0) made a statement in their very first game under their new lights at the NIU Soccer and Track and Field complex with two goals in the first half and a goal off of a corner to finish the game off in the second.

“It wasn’t an outstanding performance, [but] it was a good performance,” said head coach Eric Luzzi. “We gave away very little in the back. I thought our back four was clean and sharp. We kind of tweaked a couple things in our 10-day break, and I thought it was good.

“We were much more on the same page defensively than I think we’ve probably been in a while, and I think on the ball… We were extremely efficient.”

The two teams felt each other out for the first 20 minutes until a Panthers’ (1-10-2) mistake in the back proved to be costly.

Junior forward Isaac Kannah stripped the ball from an Eastern defender inside his own box and made no mistake firing it past the Panthers’ goalie, Ben Feltes. The Huskies were up 1-0 in the 24th minute.

It was NIU’s first goal since its 2-1 loss against St. Mary’s Sept. 22.

When EIU thought it would be able to get out of the half down just 1-0, Kannah struck again.

NIU substitute Cody Witkowski collected the ball on the right wing and beat his man, putting in a cross to an unmarked Kannah. Kannah headed it home for his second goal of the game with less than a minute left in the first half.

“I think we played well,” Kannah said. “We connected, started from the back moving forward, and all I had to do was keep making my runs and stuff like that….”

In the second half NIU put the dagger in the Panthers off a corner in the 62nd minute. Junior defender Dusty Page made the run all the way to the 6-yard box to beat the Eastern goalkeeper and headed it home for his first career goal.

Though goalkeeper Andrew Glaeser didn’t have much to do in the match, he still made a big save to keep the shutout.

With 25 minutes left to play, Eastern’s Jake Plant spun off a Huskie defender into the box, ripping a shot to the corner. Glaeser was up for it, pushing the shot wide.

This was NIU’s first shutout, and the first time it scored three goals since the season opener against Cincinnati. Page was happy with the result after the game.

“The clean sheet is the most important thing, obviously,” Page said. “It’s been a long time coming since we’ve had one, so we wanted to focus on disallowing them from getting any chances. In terms of my goal I was just happy to contribute in any way that I can.”