NIU women’s soccer defeats Buffalo 1-0

By Matt Hopkinson

NIU women’s soccer (2-10-2) took the Bulls by the horns as they defeated Buffalo (9-3-2) 1-0 on the road Friday.

Yet the Huskies then lost a frenetically paced match against Kent State (9-5) 3-2 Sunday.

NIU played a physical game against Buffalo, as both teams knotted at zero going into the second half.

“All MAC games are physical,” said NIU head coach Carrie Barker. “This game a little more so than others, I think.”

In the 67th minute of play, NIU midfielder/forward Shelbi Johnson served in a corner kick, which junior defender Lauren Eberts was able to put away for the eventual game-winning goal.

“Shelbi put a good ball in,” Eberts said. “I ran at the goalkeeper just trying to get her to bobble the ball, but I was able to put a part of my body on it to score.”

NIU goalkeeper Amy Carr earned her second shutout of the season.

The win against Buffalo was the first conference win of the season for NIU. Carrying that momentum with them into Kent State, The Huskies once again played a tough match.

NIU trailed 1-0 going into halftime courtesy of a score by Megan Repas with an assist from Vanessa Salerno.

The Huskies came out quickly, however, scoring a goal within a minute of the start of the second half, and then again in the 48th minute.

Defense/midfielder Kayra Thompson scored the first goal with assists from Frances Boukidis and Nici Newquist.

Forward/defense Samantha Hill scored the second goal with an assist from Boukidis.

Kent State turned the tide late in the game, with Stephanie Haugh scoring two quick goals in 86th and 87th minutes. Salerno scored the game-winning goal with an assist from Repas.

“We were a goal down, came back to tie it and up and then take the lead,” Barker said. “Soccer is a funny sport; we played hard and didn’t get the breaks I thought we deserved to.”

After tasting their first conference win, followed by a loss, senior captain Kelsey Passaglia believes NIU will use it is as motivation.

“We came out strong both games,” Passaglia said. “We know what we’re capable of. I think we’re ready to show everyone the mentality that we are not going to give up.”