Women's soccer secures first victory of the season

Sophomore goalkeeper Julia Lentz posted her first career clean sheet for the Huskies during Sunday's match against Western Illinois University.

DeKALB  — Women’s soccer takes home its first win of the season after defeating Western Illinois University 1-0 Sunday in Macomb, Illinois. 

This win marks the third against WIU, bringing the record against the Leathernecks to an even 3-3.

First-year forward Julia Neary scored the only goal in the game. Neary’s game winner is her first NIU-career goal. Sophomore goalkeeper Julia Lentz had seven saves, allowing no goals to keep WIU scoreless.

The Huskies’ defense was able to cut down on the amount of shots by its opponent, allowing only 14. The Huskies attempted 14 shots of their own, including five on goal.

“I think defensively, we played more organized throughout the game,” Huskies Head Coach Julie Colhoff said.

In the sixth minute, Lentz made her first save off a shot from WIU sophomore defender Zoe Clarke. In the 17th minute, Lentz made her second save off a shot from Leathernecks sophomore forward Amy Andrews.

In the second half,, Lentz picked up her third save off a shot from WIU first-year defender Lynette Hawkins in the 51st minute.

In the 57th minute junior forward Haley Hoppe attempted the first shot on goal for NIU, but it was saved by senior goalkeeper Ines Palmiero Herrera.

Lentz picked up her fourth save in the 60th minute coming off a shot from Andrews.

Neary gave NIU a 1-0 advantage in the 62nd minute, taking the ball from the top of the box around a defender and sent the ball to the upper corner.

Sophomore defender Sarah Avery attempted a shot on goal in the 70th minute, but Palmiero Herrera stopped the shot. Hoppe had a second shot on goal in the 74th minute, but Palmiero Herrera was there to get her third save.

Huskie first-year midfielder Isabella Sabo had a shot on goal in the 78th minute, but Palmiero Herrera handled the shot.

In the 88th minute, Lentz added two saves to her tally. Lentz’s fifth came off a shot from Andrews, and her sixth came off a shot from Clarke.

In the final minute Lentz was able to help the Huskies maintain the lead. The Huskie goalkeeper saved a shot from junior midfielder Jenna Lundgren, preventing a tie and giving NIU its first win of the season. 

“I’m very pleased with the way the team bounced back after Friday,” Colhoff said. “I think that it’s a first step in the right direction, and something we can build off of going into this week of training.”

The team’s record improves to 1-2-1 on the season. NIU will return to the field to face Colhoff’s alma mater Loyola University - Chicago at home. This will be the first time the teams meet since Sept. 20, 2013. The Huskies have lost all three of the previous matchups.

Kickoff against the Ramblers will be at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Soccer and Track and Field Complex in DeKalb.