Soccer ‘knuckleheads’ settle for one win


NIU’s men’s soccer team knew they were going into battle this weekend in Ohio.

At the end of it all though, the Huskies came out pretty much unscathed.

NIU (10-5-2) tied Cleveland State on Friday and defeated Wright State on Sunday to push their Mid-Continent Conference record to 3-2-2.

Although the Huskies settled for a 2-2 tie with Cleveland State, who is currently second in the Mid-Con standings, head coach Willy Roy was not really satisfied with the results.

“I have to admit I’m disappointed because we really were better than the other team,” said Roy. “We played some beautiful one-touch passes and really controlled the match 80 percent of the time. But we walk away empty-handed in terms of a win because of two knucklehead mistakes.”

CSU opened the scoring 5:46 into the game when Kurt Will took advantage of a penalty kick, giving the Vikings the quick 1-0 lead. NIU rallied before halftime when Todd Vanecko set up Jay Konrad for a five-yard header that knotted up the contest at one goal a piece.

With 22:33 left in the second half, NIU took the 2-1 lead with Konrad feeding Brian Downs for a 30-yard blast from the right side. The Huskies’ lead didn’t last very long though.

38 seconds later, CSU’s Kevin Sipsock took advantage of a Huskie misplay and scored from eight yards out to tie it up at two. Neither team scored in overtime and the Huskies had to take the tie.

Roy’s squad then traveled to Dayton for a Sunday match-up with the Raiders of Wright State University. Assistant coach Karsten Roy was very satisfied with the NIU’s performance.

“It’s good to get on the winning side of things,” Roy said.

The first half was rather uneventful, with neither squad scoring. Goalie Brian Hecht was sidelined with a sore left shoulder and Brad Nordeng took command of the net.

Wright State struck first, with Chad Kingsbury scoring an unassisted goal from five yards out with 24:07 left in the match. However, that was the end of the Raiders’ scoring as the Huskies went on the attack.

Tim Prerost found an open Todd Vanecko, who in turn decided to pass to Andy Lane for the score with 15:22 left in the game to lock the match up at one goal each.

NIU went ahead with 6:21 left to play on a Prerost header from four yards out. Vanecko picked up the assist for the Huskies. That closed the scoring for both teams as the Huskies came out victorious, 2-1.