Women’s soccer goes 0-2 in MAC weekend

By Jacob Onak

It wasn’t the kind of MAC opening weekend the women’s soccer team wanted.

The Huskies (2-7-1, 0-2-0 MAC) lost their two first conference games against Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan.

On Friday, the Huskies started off their MAC journey with a trip to Ypsilanti, Mich., to take on Eastern Michigan, and fell 4-1.

NIU let in three first half goals and couldn’t respond from there.

To open up the scoring in the 20th minute, Eagles junior forward Bianca Rossi took a pass on the right side of the box and ripped a shot that got past NIU goalkeeper Amy Carr.

Less than two minutes later, Eastern Michigan found a second off a header from Angela Vultaggio. Vultaggio, who assisted on Rossi’s previous goal, took a pass from Marisa Kozikowski and headed it past Carr for EMU’s second goal.

NIU found itself in an even worse hole right before halftime as the Eagles netted in the final minute of the half.

An Eastern Michigan set piece found the head of Emily Dzik and the junior defender made no mistake putting the ball into the back of the net.

The second half was a little more even as NIU pulled one back.

Sophomore Nicole Gobbo found her third goal of the season as the forward collected a pass inside the box and slotted it into the EMU net to ruin the Eagles’ shutout.

Eastern Michigan got its fourth in a penalty kick and NIU fell 4-1.

Head coach John Ross knows his squad has to do better at the start of games, but thought the second half was strong for NIU.

“We made some substitutions for the second half, and that really helped us out,” Ross said in a news release.

In their second match of the weekend on Sunday, the Huskies fell 4-2 against the Western Michigan Broncos.

Despite a stronger start in the first half — allowing just one goal — the second half defense fell short as the game opened up and NIU allowed three second-half goals.

The Huskies got a couple goals in the second half, with Allie McBride and Gobbo getting on the score sheet for NIU, both assisted by Cori Frankenberg. Gobbo now leads NIU with four goals on the season.

“We have some things to work on in practice,” Ross said in a news release. “The small mistakes are hurting us right now. We’ve been playing well in the second half. That at least gives us something positive to look at from the game.”