Soccer squad starts off on the right foot


The NIU men’s soccer team treated the home fans to an exciting win over Northwestern Monday afternoon at the Huskie soccer complex.

The teams spent the first 17 minutes feeling each other out until Nathan Mitchell collected a ball near the Wildcat’s goal and tapped in what appeared to be a Huskie goal, but a hustling Wildcat defender made a great save and denied the Huskies an early lead.

The Huskies wasted no time after the near goal, and with 20 minutes gone, NIU midfielder Todd Vanecko put the Huskies on top. He collected a pass, dribbled by a Wildcat defender, stayed on his feet after a hard foul by the goalie, and shot the ball in from the right corner of the penalty box.

Sigerud Slaastad assisted on the goal.

The teams battled back and forth for a while, and with eight minutes left in the half the Huskies added to their lead. Huskie forward Nathan Mitchell knocked in a loose ball that bounced around in front of the Wildcats goal.

The Huskies left the field with a 2-0 lead in hand at halftime. With 20 minutes left in the contest Huskie fullback Derek Niepomnik scored a goal that is sure to make the Huskie highlight reel.

“It was a world class goal and there is no keeper in the world that could’ve stopped it,” said head coach Willy Roy.

Niepomnik received a pass about 30 yards out, set it up, and put the ball in the back of the upper right corner.

With three minutes remaining in the game Nathan Mitchell scored his second goal of the day, which gave the Huskies a 4-0 win.

On Saturday the Huskies came out of Green Bay with a 2-2 tie.

Although the Huskies tied, they can still feel good about their performance. They were playing last year’s Mid-Continent Conference champs on the road with Wisconsin refs.

Huskie midfielder Brian Downs put the Huskies in the lead with a flying header from 12 yards out.

The Phoenix took the lead early in the second half.

The game looked all but over when Huskie defender and team leader Jay Konrad was ejected after receiving his second yellow card of the game.

With 14 minutes left in the match, Huskie forward Tim Prerost knotted the game up at two, assisted by Rob Grapko.

“We came back and showed that old Huskie spirit,” Roy said of his team’s performance.