Men’s soccer blanked by Notre Dame

Men’s soccer drops to 1-1 in road loss to the Fighting Irish.


Northern Star File Photo

Senior midfielder Adrian Corona launches a pass in NIU’s Aug. 26, 2021 win over Purdue-Fort Wayne.

By James Krause

DeKALB — A tough matchup for the men’s soccer team’s first road game ended with the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish beating NIU 2-0.

The Huskies struggled to keep up with the Fighting Irish, a team that started this season taking the #2 ranked University of Indiana to extra time on Aug. 27. Despite having a 57% possession rate, NIU couldn’t match Notre Dame’s offense.

Head coach Ryan Swan said that NIU was out matched in terms of skills and the victims of an unlucky bounce in the first half.

“I thought there were a lot of really good moments for us,” Swan said in an Aug. 30 NIU Athletics news release. “Our ball movement was good, and we had a lot of possession tonight, but they were more clinical than us in the end. We were unfortunate on the first goal, with a deflection that went in and the second they capitalized on our mistake at the back and got to goal very quickly. I think that was the difference between the two teams, we weren’t as clinical as they were.

The Huskies and Fighting Irish each began the game on thin ice, with both squads receiving yellow cards in the first two minutes. After NIU senior forward Roque Viegas Jr. picked up a yellow card, Fighting Irish graduate student midfielder Michael Lynch picked up one of his own.

The two teams traded shots early, each having four shots on goal at halftime. The advantage after the first half was with Notre Dame after freshman forward Eno Nto scored in the 22nd minute off a deflection.

NIU had a chance early in the second half to even the game off a shot by redshirt junior forward Enrique Banuelos, but it went right into the hands of Notre Dame sophomore goalkeeper Bryan Dowd. Ultimately, NIU was outshot 17-12 in the contest.

The Fighting Irish extended their lead in the 70th minute. Freshman forward Matthew Roou scored a goal with assists from senior midfielder Ben Giacobello and senior forward Jack Lynn.

The Huskies failed to mount a charge and the Fighting Irish won 2-0 for their first win of the season.

NIU moves to 1-1 overall with the loss. The Huskies return home to the NIU Soccer and Track & Field Complex at 3 p.m. Saturday when they face the University of St. Thomas Bobcats.