Huskies earn second draw in three games

NIU draws even with second-straight in-state opponent


Mingda Wu

Senior midfielder Luis Hernandez advances the ball downfield in the 50th minute of NIU’s Thursday night bout against Lindenwood University. The Huskies earned their second tie of the 2022 season after ending the game 1-1.

DeKALB — An exchange of second-half goals in the NIU men’s soccer team’s home matchup against Lindenwood University resulted in a 1-1 stalemate Thursday night in DeKalb.

The Huskies tied for the second time in three games after Monday’s home victory over the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers.

Head coach Ryan Swan expressed his disappointment in Thursday’s result. He also noted that the energy from the team was low compared to the previous game against Milwaukee.

“In Monday’s game, it was high energy and high excitement; playing for a trophy,” Swan said. “Tonight, it wasn’t quite the same. Lindenwood did a good job nullifying some of our threats. Overall, I thought it was quite a disappointing outing for us.”

Freshman midfielder Angel Rodriguez registered his second career goal at the beginning of the second half. The first-year player scored after being subbed into the game in the 42nd minute.

“It’s what we come to do,” Rodriguez said. “That’s why we stay prepared on the bench. That’s why there’s second half subs so that we can come in and make an impact right away.”

The Lindenwood Lions evened the scoring with a goal by sophomore defender Cole Hutson in the 63rd minute. Lindenwood’s score also prevented NIU from achieving its goal of shutting out the Lions.

“It definitely feels like a loss,” junior goalkeeper Jakub Rojek said. “The goal was to get a clean sheet. I had three or four saves, which was good, but still didn’t keep a clean sheet.”

NIU appeared to score off the go-ahead goal in the 88th minute. It was quickly called back due to an offsides call against the Huskies.

The Huskies demonstrated more aggression to the net, attempting 15 shots compared to Lindenwood’s 10 attempts. Sophomore forward Taisei Arima accounted for four of NIU’s shots on goal. He led the scoring for the Huskies in Monday’s game against Milwaukee. Arima, a transfer from Fort Hays State University, scored twice in NIU’s 3-2 win over the Panthers.

Thursday’s draw brings the Huskies to a 2-1-2 record for the season. This was NIU’s second tie in the past week after drawing 2-2 against Bradley University on Sept. 1.

Swan said that the team will need to revisit some of its general principles ahead of its next matchup on the schedule.

“Getting the speed of play up again, being confident on the ball and getting good attacking runs in the final third were the things I felt were good on Monday and not so good today (Thursday),” Swan said.

NIU will resume its slate against in-state opponents at 7 p.m. Monday. The Huskies will play host to the University of Illinois Chicago Flames. The match will be streamed on NIU All-Access.