Huskies leave Golden Grizzlies seeing Red

A 2-1 victory over Oakland, see’s NIU advance to face fifth-seeded Pittsburg on Sunday.


NIU Athletics

Sophomore midfielder Diego Maynez loads up for a shot on goal during Thursdays 2-1 victory over Oakland in the first-round of the NCAA College Cup. Maynez scored both of the Huskies goals in the contest.

DeKALB — Sophomore midfielder Diego Maynez scored two goals for NIU as the Huskies outlasted the Oakland University Golden Grizzlies 2-1, advancing to the second-round of the NCAA College Cup.

“We are delighted to be through to the next round,” head coach Ryan Swan said. “A little frustrated that we lost our composure near the end of the match though.”

The Huskies’ scoring started right off the bat in the fourth minute as senior defenseman Anthony Markanich found Diego Maynez, who put the ball in the back of the net to make the score 1-0 Huskies.

In the 14th minute, senior forward Roque Viegas Jr. passed the ball to Diego Maynez, who put the ball in the net to score his second goal of the night and make it 2-0 Huskies. 

“It feels great coming off a season where I didn’t get many goals,” Diego Maynez said. “To come into a tournament and score two goals feels great.”

The Golden Grizzlies had a prime opportunity to score in the 25th minute when redshirt sophomore defenseman Charlie Braithwaite had a wide open net. The shot deflected off of a Huskie boot to keep the score as is.

In the 41st minute, Nick Markanich had an opportunity to score as he dribbled around a Golden Grizzly defender but aimed his shot too far left, keeping the score 2-0.

Senior defenseman Anthony Markanich (right) and junior Adrian Lara patrol the Huskie backfield during its 2-1 victory over Oakland Thursday. (Zulfiqar Ahmed | Northern Star) (Zulfiqar Ahmed)

At the end of the half, NIU held a majority of the possession with 60%. The Huskies also led Oakland in total shots nine to five.

For the better part of the second half, both teams were unable to get any offense going, trading clearances multiple times.

In the 70th minute, a Huskie foul by sophomore defenseman Dylan Banker led to a penalty kick for redshirt senior midfielder Noah Jensen. Jensen put the ball past redshirt junior goalkeeper Martin Sanchez to make the deficit 2-1.

Only moments later in the 78th minute, Banker committed another foul on Jensen in the box to force a second penalty kick. Jensen scored on the kick, but the official called encroachment on one of the Oakland players. 

Jensen’s second attempt to the bottom left which was saved by Martinez. After the play ensued, Jensen was given a yellow card for arguing with the official.

“I think on both occasions we were poor on both the playing sides, giving the ball away cheaply and defensively,” Swan said. “We got caught reaching in a little bit. I’m very disappointed with both penalties that we gave up.”

In the 86th minute senior forward Dawson Schrum was handed a red card by the official giving NIU a man advantage for the rest of the match. 

After time expired, an irritated Oakland bench made their frustrations known to the officials. The officials responded by handing a post match red card to one of the Golden Grizzlies assistant coaches. The Oakland bench retorted by throwing a chair.

The Huskies now move on to the second round of the tournament where they face the fifth-seeded University of Pittsburgh Panthers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The game will be at 3 p.m. Sunday.