Huskies shutout streak continues

NIU bests WMU 3-0 to open Mid-American Conference play


Courtesy of NIU Athletics

The NIU men’s soccer team celebrates a goal in the first half of their 3-0 victory against the Marquette University Golden Eagles on Sept. 10 in DeKalb.

Noah Silver, Sports Reporter

DeKALB — The red-hot Huskies rolled to their eighth consecutive victory, defeating the  Western Michigan University Broncos 3-0.

It took 15 minutes for the first shot on goal to be registered by freshman forward Zachariah Thomas.

In the 27th minute, the Huskies broke the seal as redshirt senior midfielder Pepe Martinez scored off an assist by senior forward Nick Markanich and redshirt junior forward Enrique Banuelos to put NIU up 1-0.

By the end of the first half, both the Huskies and the Broncos had the same amount of shots at five. NIU would go on to outshoot Western Michigan in the second half. 

In the 67th minute, Nick Markanich scored his nation-leading 12th goal of the season as Banuelos passed another ball to Markanich who put it in the back of the net, putting NIU up 2-0.

If there was any fight left in the Broncos, it was diminished in the next minute when Thomas added an assist to his stat line with a ball to Banuelos. Banuelos scored his second of the game and put the Huskies up 3-0.

“It was a perfect start to conference play,” head coach Ryan Swan said in a Saturday NIU athletics news release. “We emphasized how important it was to get off to a good start and this is a really tough place to come and get a result, so I was delighted with the performance and the result.”

Redshirt junior goalkeeper Martin Sanchez recorded his seventh shutout of the season, needing just two saves to do so.  With the win, the team’s scoreless streak has been extended to 591 minutes and 33 seconds.

NIU moves to 1-0 in conference play and looks to continue their hot streak when they return home at 3 p.m. Saturday to take on the third-ranked team in the country, the University of West Virginia Mountaineers at the NIU Soccer & Track and Field Complex.