Soccer drops first in four weeks; ends shutout streak

By Andrew Hansen

It only took one mistake for the NIU men’s soccer team to lose Saturday.

After a 2-0 win over Western Michigan on Friday, the Huskies (9-3-2, 2-0-0 MAC), ranked No. 22, were defeated 1-0 by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (8-2-4), ranked No. 25 in the Soccer America poll.

The lone score came on a free kick by Craig Mallace in the 57th minute after a hand ball violation on NIU, snapping the Huskies’ school record, seven-game scoreless streak with a victory.

Steve Goletz, the NIU goalkeeper who had two saves in the game, guessed the correct direction of Mallace’s kick but the ball sneaked past him.

“I try to read the shooter as much as a I can and go one way,” Goletz said. “I went that way, but he got a good shot.”

Despite the loss, NIU head coach Steve Simmons thinks the game was played well.

“It was a good game,” Simmons said. “We made one mistake and they capitalized. You expect that from a top 25 game.”

Because of the win, Wisconsin-Milwaukee retains the John Lewang Memorial Cup for the sixth straight year. The trophy is named after John Lewang, former NIU coach who died in a car accident prior to the 1981 season and given to the winning team of the match.

Simmons said he will continue to look at the positives of the game.

“We picked up where we left off,” Simmons said. “Attack wise, it’s the best we’ve played all year,”

The Huskies outshot the Panthers 10 to seven and five to three on shots on goal.

Goletz agreed with Simmons but said he thought the Huskies have to put this loss past them.

“We played well,” Goletz said. “That [the goal] happens. We have to move forward.”