Women drop two 4-3, 2-1

Chalk up the weekend as one big learning experience for members of the Northern Illinois University women’s soccer unit.

While the Huskies didn’t walk away victors at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay/NIKE Great Lakes Classic, they did win in the “learned valuable lessons” department.

“We definitely learned some things this weekend,” first-year head coach Frank Horvat remarked. “We played well in both matches, we just have to be able to put everything together. Playing teams like Kentucky and Minnesota show us what we need to work and improve on.”

On Saturday, NIU dropped a disappointing 4-3 contest to the University of Minnesota, while on Sunday it fell 2-1 to the University of Kentucky, the tournament champion.

Against the Gophers—a first year program like Northern Illinois—the Huskies couldn’t find their mark on defense, learning that the best offense is a good defense.

A hat trick performed by UM’s Gretchen Brandt was evident of the Huskies’ defensive gaps, according to Horvat.

“When one person scores three goals against you, that’s not good,” Horvat commented. “We had to tighten our defense up and we just didn’t do that. Minnesota is a good first-year program, but we’re just as good.”

Michelle Anger lit the scoreboard up first for both squads when with 9:30 gone in the first half she laced a six-yard shot inside the penalty box with the help of Kristin Raynolds and Amy Derry. However, Brandt added two of her goals in the next 25 minutes, putting UM on top 2-1.

The Huskies’ Jennifer Berg knotted the game at 2-2 when with 35:21 gone the DeKalb native nailed a 30-yard blast, assisted by Angie Raiff. Prior to intermission Brant scored on a give-and-go, and then teammate Anne Meitz opened the second half with a 13-yard straightaway to put the Gophers in the lead for good at 4-2.

Berg, on an assist from Derry, made the final score when she headed a corner kick with 67:00 gone.

While the defense tightened up on Sunday versus Kentucky, the NIU group lost intensity.

Both defenses held the offenses at bay in the first 45 minutes, but the Lady Wildcats’ Cheryl Shimovetz scored a six-yard header with 48:56 gone to put UK up 1-0. Thirty minutes later Karin Schnelder padded Kentucky’s lead by blasting an 18-yard shot from the right of the goal.

Anger tallied NIU’s only score at 82:01 gone when off a Christy Foster assist, she hit an 18-yarder from right of the box.