Men’s soccer burned by Flames at home


Northern Star File Photo

Defensemen Adrian Lara (no. 5) tracks down the ball during a defensive stand during NIUs 5-2 victory over Bowling Green in the Mid-American Conference semi-final in Nov. 2021.

By DeOndre Saunders, Sports Reporter

DeKALB — After a scoreless first half performance from NIU, the Huskies finished the game scoreless as they lost to the University of Illinois Chicago Flames at home 2-0.

The Huskies went scoreless in the first half because of the Flame’s defensive efforts and great field position on offense.

“We were very frustrated and created a lot of good opportunities but weren’t clinical in the penalty area,” head coach Ryan Swan said. “Today we couldn’t execute on the simplest thing.”

Huskies’ redshirt senior goalkeeper Martin Sanchez went to help defensively on the Flames’ sophomore forward Josh Torres and left the goal unattended. Flames redshirt senior Christian Crespo capitalized off the goal being open and scored in the 13th minute for UIC to lead 1-0.

NIU looked to tie the game multiple times but couldn’t create offense. The Huskies were down at the half 1-0.

UIC scored early only just 1:26 into the second half. Flames senior midfielder Andres Moreno was left open on the fast break allowing him to score and take the 2-0 lead for his team.

The Huskies took three shots in the second half but couldn’t convert on any of them. NIU couldn’t make runs to lead to goals in the second half.

“We talked about making runs and leading space for each other, but we didn’t do that,” redshirt senior Enrique Banuelos said. “We need to be more accountable of each other and create chances to score goals.”

The Huskies couldn’t create offense to score and would lose 2-0.

“We have a mentality problem right now where we are not disciplined on defense and are not attacking the goal and being ruthless,” fifth year midfielder Adrian Corona said. “The problem isn’t creating chances, it’s getting contact and putting the ball in.”

NIU now has a record of 2-2-2 and sits at third place in the Mid-American Conference.

The Huskies are now headed to Macomb as they will take on the Western Illinois University Leathernecks.