Men’s soccer shuts out Chicago State in first win


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Soccer ball flies through the net in the goal.

By Jarrett Huff

DeKALB — In quite a lopsided match Friday, men’s soccer dominated both sides of the pitch to earn its first victory of the season against the Chicago State University Cougars.

NIU’s relentless offense attempted 21 shots on goal, with 47.6% of its shots hitting the back net, resulting in the 10-0 shutout victory. While the offense was rolling, the defense wasn’t slacking either. 

The Huskies didn’t allow a single shot on goal, not allowing for goalkeepers redshirt sophomore Martin Sanchez and redshirt first-year Parker Smith to see much action as the pair split the 90-minute match.

“There were a lot of things that we have worked on over the last week that we saw implemented out here today,” NIU Head Coach Ryan Swan said in a Friday NIU Athletics news release. “I was happy with our performance and we are ready for conference play now. Certainly, today was tough for Chicago State.It is their first year as a program, and I am excited that there is another [Division I] team in Chicagoland; that is great for soccer in our area.”

Chicago State disbanded its men’s soccer program in the late 1980s, making today’s match their first in over 30 years. This match is tied for fourth in most goals scored in NIU history, making it the most since the Huskies’ 10-0 over the Cougars on Oct. 7, 1987, ironically.

Eight Huskies scored a goal in the match, including senior midfielder Alex Welch, junior forward Nick Markanich, junior defenders Anthony Markanich and Pierce Ugarte, redshirt sophomore forward Enrique Banuelos, sophomore defender Adrian Lara, first-year midfielder Diego Maynez and first-year forward Kevin Galiano. Nick Markanich and Galiano had two goals each. Of their 11 assists as a team, 10 different Huskies assisted on at least one goal.

With the win, NIU moves to 1-2-1 to close non-conference play. Mid-American Conference play opens 1 p.m. March 6 against the West Virginia University Mountaineers in Morgantown, West Virginia.