Men’s soccer suffocate St. Thomas 4-0

Redshirt+Junior+Martin+Sanchez+sends+a+ball+deep+during+a+game+against+Purdue+Univeristy-+Fort+Wayne+Aug.+26.+Sanchez+has+been+in+net+for+all+three+of+the+Huskies+games+this+season.

Zak Ahmed | Northern Star

Redshirt Junior Martin Sanchez sends a ball deep during a game against Purdue Univeristy- Fort Wayne Aug. 26. Sanchez has been in net for all three of the Huskies games this season.

Noah Silver, Sports Reporter

DeKALB — Senior forward Nick Markanich scored a pair of second-half goals as the Northern Illinois University men’s soccer team beat the University of St. Thomas 4-0 Saturday afternoon.

Senior defenseman Anthony Markanich and senior midfielder Pepe Martinez-Bertrand both tallied goals in the first half.

“Something we have talked about for the last couple of games has been our quality in the final third,” head coach Ryan Swan said. “We haven’t been quite sharp enough, so it has been a focus in training. To get four today, and the quality of the goals as well as the chances we created, it was very pleasing. I’m happy with the overall performance.”

The Huskies’ offense put up 20 total shots on the Tommies while the defense was suffocating, allowing only two shots on goal and no corner kicks the entire game.

NIU, now 2-1-0, was on the front-foot from the opening kickoff, pounding St. Thomas with shots early and often. Ultimately, Nick Markanich found Martinez-Bertrand, who scored from the top of the box in the 35th minute.

Five minutes later, sophomore defenseman Harry Jolley threw up a ball to Anthony Markanich, who headed it home to put the Huskies up 2-0.

Nick Markanich finished off the first half with his first of two goals as he drove home a pass from junior forward Enrique Banuelos before the whistle. 

“It was a good combination between me and Enrique (Banuelos),” Nick Markanich said. “I played a one-two, and he played a good through ball to me. I just poked it around the goalie.”

St. Thomas, who falls to 0-4-0, was kept quiet during the second half, totaling zero shots and also accruing two yellow cards on freshman forward Faris Colic and senior midfielder George Marty.

NIU found its last goal in the 67th minute as Banuelos once again hooked up with Nick Markanich to score the final goal for the Huskies. 

“It was another combination with Enrique,” Nick Markanich said. “I gave it to him, he gave it back to me, I took two guys on, pushed it around the guy, and then found a spot to beat the keeper.”

NIU finished the game with eight corner kicks and held St. Thomas to only one shot on goal.

Four goals was obviously great,” said Nick Markanich. “We came back from the loss against Notre Dame; it was good to come back with four goals. We are happy and excited for our game on Tuesday.”

NIU will now focus their attention on their next match at 3 p.m. Tuesday in Charleston, Illinois, as the Huskies take on Eastern Illinois University.