In its final home weekend of the season NIU women’s soccer dropped a pair of games to Miami (Ohio) and Ball State.
Friday’s match between Miami (Ohio) and NIU felt like a 90 minute roller coaster ride, with many twists and turns. At the end of that ride, the RedHawks (14-2-0, 8-0 MAC) defeated the Huskies (6-7-2, 2-4-2 MAC) 3-2, on a goal with five seconds remaining in regulation.
The RedHawks got off to a quick start offensively scoring two goals in the first 25 minutes.
In the 43rd minute the Huskies cut the lead in half, when senior midfielder/forward Shelbi Johnson curled the ball into the net from the 18-yard box, after a nice set up from sophomore midfielder/forward Ashley Neubeck.
NIU carried the momentum from the late first-half goals into the beginning stages of the second half and was able to equalize in the 67th minute when freshman forward Nicole Gobbo squeezed through two defenders and put one past Miami’s goalkeeper.
Miami (Ohio) head coach Bobby Kramig said nothing changed for his team’s offense in the second 45 minutes.
“I don’t think they did anything in the second half,” Kramig said. “I think they just stepped up and played hard. They were winning all the 50-50 balls. They were doing a great job serving balls in behind us and we were having a tough time handling some of those. But, you know, I just felt we allowed them to take the game to us and we’re not a team that’s gonna do well when we allow other teams to do that.”
Dingaes scored her second goal of the match on a header with just five seconds remaining to help Miami (Ohio) escape with a win.
NIU coach John Ross said his team can’t continue putting themselves in holes like 2-0 is one they faced on Friday.
“I think it gives us some confidence, but, you know, I think we also expect a little more from ourselves,” Ross said “It’s tough when you put yourself in that position to be down 2-0, but to fight back it shows a lot as well. The kids showed a lot of heart, never gave up, kept going, but we know we can’t put ourselves in those kinda holes.”
Sunday the Huskies dropped their third consecutive match, falling to Ball State (7-5-4, 4-4-2 MAC) 1-0 in their final home match of the season.
The lone goal came in the ninth minute off a failed NIU clearing attempt, Ball State redshirt senior Sarah Orisich scored her first goal of the season on a strike from the 18-yard box.
The Huskies ended the match with nine shots, one of which was on frame, but Ball State goalkeeper senior Aubrey Buehler was up to the task.