EKU pulls away from Huskies in second half

Defensive struggles continue four-games into Huskies season.


Zak Ahmed

Women’s soccer head coach Julie Colhoff on the sidelines of NIU’s match Aug. 26 against Chicago State. The Huskies fall to 2-2 on the season after a loss to Eastern Kentucky.

By James Krause

DeKALB — After a first half goal to go ahead early, NIU gave up three second half goals to the Eastern Kentucky University Colonials in a 3-1 loss Sunday in DeKalb.

Head coach Julie Colhoff said the loss throws out any momentum built from two straight wins last week. Colhoff also pointed to defensive struggles becoming a recurring theme in their matches.

“We didn’t show any resilience, and we let this game slip away,”  Colhoff said in an NIU Athletics news release. “Which is a shame because we had momentum that we should have built from, but instead, I think we got complacent. In the past couple of games, when we have scored, we have given up a goal right away, so that was a focus of ours, and it was good to see us not give up a goal right after scoring, but we weren’t able to put together two halves.”

The Huskies got on the board early with a 14th minute goal by graduate student forward Haley Hoppe. NIU had another opportunity right after the Hoppe goal. A shot by redshirt senior forward Amanda Czerniak to the bottom center corner was saved by EKU. At the half, NIU led 1-0.

The Colonials turned it on in the second half, evening the game in the 59th minute, with a goal by junior midfielder Ali Kirk. EKU took the lead in the 68th minute with an unassisted goal by freshman midfielder Nerea De Diego.

NIU was only outshot 9-8 in the second half, but the defense struggled to hold off EKU. The Colonials struck the final blow with an 82nd minute goal by freshman forward Lucy Ream. The 3-1 final gave the Colonials their first win in regulation of the season.

The Huskies sit at 2-2 halfway through their non-conference schedule. NIU hopes to bounce back at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Valparaiso, Indiana, when the Huskies visit the Valparaiso University Crusaders.