Men’s soccer can’t convert on chances against Ohio State

By Jacob Onak

After a sputtering offensive season in 2012, the men’s soccer team (1-1) entered its opening weekend splitting the results, but it wasn’t for a lack of chances.

On Friday, the Huskies took on the Cincinnati Bearcats and came away with a solid 3-0 result.

The first goal came in the run of play as sophomore midfielder Bertrand Gaschot got his first career goal for NIU. A pass from senior forward James Stevenson released Gaschot into a one-on-one with the Bearcats keeper, and Gaschot slotted the ball in the corner for a 1-0 lead.

The rest of the scoring for NIU came off two penalty kick situations: The first in the 57th minute as Stevenson had his initial penalty kick shot saved, but he followed it up and buried it in the back of the net. The next penalty kick, which became the final goal in the 88th minute, was drawn by Gaschot, and buried by junior Isaac Kannah.

Redshirt sophomore Andrew Glaeser got his first career start in goal for the Huskies and came up big for NIU a few times, making four saves and earning a shutout at the end of the match.

Despite the 3-0 result, head coach Eric Luzzi wasn’t thrilled with his team’s performance.

“I was pleased with the results, but I thought the performance was average for this group,” Luzzi said. “We expect a lot of our guys, and I think they’ve shown that we have the potential to be quite good, and I thought for our standards we were just OK. But at the end of the day we scored three goals.”

On Saturday, NIU took on Ohio State, and the Huskies fell 2-0 to the Buckeyes despite a number of scoring opportunities.

After a strong start from the Huskies, the Buckeyes got on the board in the 30th minute. Alex Harrison’s headed attempt from a Ohio State free kick went past senior Miles Herbert and put the Buckeyes up 1-0.

In the 63rd minute, NIU earned itself another penalty. Once again Stevenson stepped up to take it but Ohio State keeper Alex Ivanov saved the attempt.

A Buckeyes counterattack in the 73rd minute put NIU down 2-0 as Ryan Ivancic got his second goal of the season.

Once again NIU had an opportunity to put the ball in the back of the net with its fourth penalty call of the weekend. Kannah stepped up for NIU but Ivanov once again denied NIU from getting a goal.

Along with its penalty kick the Huskies also hit the crossbar twice and had a majority of the possession, but at the end of the day it’s the result that matters, and the Huskies fell 2-0.

Junior defender Dusty Page, who played every minute of both games, said the team needs to keep attentive for the entire match.

“Just consistency over a 90-minute period,” Page said. “Not having any lapses that are going to cost us and then finishing off our chances because we had a lot of chances, and if we put a couple in we can win the game.”

Luzzi was frustrated with the Ohio State match because he knows his team should have gotten a better result.

“I mean, we killed them,” Luzzi said. “We hit the post twice, we had two penalty kicks we earned through our attacking play…we did everything we need to do to win the game.”