Men’s soccer put the boots to EIU

Four first half goals helped the Huskies on their way to a decisive 5-1 win

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Zak Ahmed | Northern Star

Senior forward Nick Markanich celebrates after a goal in NIU’s game Aug. 26 against Purdue-Fort Wayne. Nick had two goals in NIU’s 5-1 win over Eastern Illinois on Tuesday.

Noah Silver, Sports Reporter

DeKALB — Senior forward Nick Markanich shined again with two goals as the Huskies clobbered the Eastern Illinois Panthers 5-1. Markanich’s brother, senior defensemen Anthony Markanich, also scored in the rout.

“The guys looked sharp right from the warmup, and right from the start, they grabbed a hold of the game,” Head coach Ryan Swan said in a Sept. 7 NIU Athletics release. “Our play in the final third was quality today. Scoring the early goals really helped settle the game for us. We weren’t great through the middle section of the game, but we managed to pull things back around, create more chances, and (Camilo) Estrada put the icing on the cake with a fantastic strike.”

NIU, now 3-1-0, took the early lead only three minutes into the game as senior midfielder Adrian Corona passed the ball to Anthony Markanich, who put the ball between the posts from just outside the box. 

Seven minutes later, the Panthers cleared a cross which landed at the feet of Nick Markanich, who put the ball into the net to put the Huskies up 2-0 

Only 79 seconds later, redshirt senior midfielder Pepe Martinez-Bertrand scored from just inside the box to add another score for NIU. 

Eastern Illinois’ first offensive chance came in the 15th minute as redshirt senior midfielder Jonas Castelhano shot a ball from deep that hit the crossbar, ending their threat.

NIU’s fourth goal came in the 36th minute as the Huskies capitalized on a Panther turnover. Nick Markanich tallied his second goal and gave NIU a great lead going into the half.

A couple of minutes later, the Panthers answered as freshman forward Prince Okonny scored a top shelf goal to put Eastern Illinois on the board and give them some momentum going into halftime.

The final tally of the match came in the 86th minute from sophomore midfielder Camilo Estrada on an assist from sophomore midfielder Diego Maynez.  The Huskies would go on to win the match 5-1.

“As we looked at the start of the second half, where we made quite a few changes, we were still in awe a bit of the quality of play we were putting out on the field,”  Swan said. “It is fantastic that we have such depth and competition for places, that is really important in college soccer because of the number of games we play in a relatively short amount of time.”

The Huskies will be at home at 7 p.m. Friday as they take on the 18th ranked Marquette University Golden Eagles.