Wisconsin short circuits Huskies


The NIU’s men’s soccer team traveled to Milwaukee this weekend hoping to come out with a bright outlook on the rest of the season.

Unfortunately, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Wisconsin-Madison turned off the lights on the Huskies as they dropped both games in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Panther Invitational.

Lack of concentration, combined with non-stop rain and a less-than-perfect playing field, made for a disappointing loss as the Huskies dropped their first match versus the Panthers of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 3-1.

“We outplayed them in the first half,” said head coach Willy Roy.

The Huskies (1-2-1) certainly did corner the Panthers (3-0-0) in the first 45 minutes of play, which was highlighted by Todd Vanecko’s goal with 23:04 left in the half. Vanecko scored from ten yards out in the right mid-field, and Sigurd Slaastad picked up the assist.

At the end of the first half, NIU headed to the locker room with a 1-0 advantage. Unfortunately, the momentum then swung to the Panthers.

UWM made their first strike 14:48 into the second half when the Panther’s Eric Klink put a dribbler from the front right post past NIU goalie Brad Nording to even the score at one goal apiece. The assist was credited to Dean Beck.

With 13:06 left in the game, Wisconsin-Milwaukee pulled ahead on a break away shot by Don Gramenz that went in by the right post. Jake Provan snagged the assist.

The Panthers closed the scoring when Tony Sanneh picked up a pass from Eric Klink and scored with 24 seconds left. The Huskies failed to produce any last minute heroics, making the final score Panthers 3, Huskies 1.

Huskie goalie Brad Nording had three saves in goal, and the defense saved two shots. On the other hand, Panther goalie Paul Royal saved six, five of them coming in the second half.

Unfortunately, Brian Downs was charged with a red card foul, causing him to miss the match up against the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Despite the defeat, Roy acknowledged two players for giving a good effort. “Brad (Nording) had some key saves for us, and (Brian) Bludgeon played smart in back,” said Roy. “We outplayed them in the first half, we just lost concentration on some passes, and we slipped some on the first two goals.”

The Huskies tried to rebound from the loss to UWM by butting heads with the Badgers of the University of Wisconsin on Sunday.

Even though NIU lost the game 1-0, coach Roy was still pleased about how the Huskies stayed with the Badgers (4-0-0) to the end.

“We were a little upbeat, but it should have been a tie. They’re not the number 14 team (in Division I) for nothing”, said Roy.

The only score of the game came with 7:50 left in the first half, with UW’s Shea Huston nailing an 18-yard chip shot from the middle. Ron Ackerman grabbed the assist for the Badgers.

Once again, Roy gave out accolades to the key players in the match.

“Bludgeon did a good job, and we missed Downs. He could have made a difference”, said Roy.

As far as commenting on playing the No. 14 Badgers, Roy said, “What the guys have to realize is that we don’t have to be in awe of higher ranked teams. All we have to do is believe in ourselves.”