No. 4/2 MU Scores Late in 1-0 Win Over NIU
Oct. 9, 2012
MILWAUKEE - A late second half goal from senior Andy Huftalin gave the No. 4/2 Marquette University men's soccer team a 1-0 victory over Northern Illinois Tuesday evening at Valley Fields. The win extends the nation's longest winning streak for the Golden Eagles.
Marquette is now 12-0-0 on the season and 20-3-1 in its last 24 matches. With the loss, NIU snaps its two-game win streak and falls to 3-6-2 overall. The contest with NIU marks the last time this season that the Golden Eagles will step outside of league play.
"NIU is always a difficult team to play," Marquette head coach Louis Bennett said. "They will squeeze the field and not give away too much territory. I knew that they would come in and try to disrupt our flow;I thought we adjusted quite nicely to that."
With heavy rainfall and windy conditions at Valley Fields, both sides had trouble adapting to the soggy pitch and neither team was very effective offensively in the first half.
NIU was successful at getting forward on a few quick counters; however the Huskies couldn't materialize in its attacking third. Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles had plenty of chances on services in the box, including a number of set pieces. MU tallied nine of its 13 corner kicks in the first half, but was unable to connect in the box.
The trend continued for the majority of the second half until the 80th minute when junior Bryan Ciesiulka played a ball from the backfield to a streaking Huftalin, who managed to wrestle the ball away from an NIU defender. Huftalin played a shot to the near post that found the back of the net, giving MU a late 1-0 advantage.
It was Huftalin's team-leading seventh goal of the season and the second time in as many games he's come off the bench to notch the game-winner. Huftalin also scored the decisive goal in MU's 3-2 decision over then No. 2-ranked Connecticut this past Saturday. Ciesiulka's assist was his team-leading sixth helper of the season.
NIU raised its intensity on the offensive end to begin the second half, outshooting Marquette, 5-1, in the opening 10 minutes. During the Huskies' offensive barrage, goalkeeper Charlie Lyon tallied two of his game total three saves. The clean sheet was Lyon's seventh of the season.
Marquette had a great opportunity to get on the board in the 50th minute when redshirt junior Adam Lysak found the ball at the top of the box and launched a shot on net that forced NIU's goalkeeper Jordan Godsey to punch the shot away over the cross bar.
A through-ball from Lysak to sophomore Kelmend Islami in the 77th minute led to another great chance to break the scoreless contest. Islami took a few dribbles down the right side before sending a cross to teammate Sebastian Jansson, who put a shot on net that beat the keep but was turned away by an NIU defender.
Marquette returns to league play this Saturday, Oct. 13, with a BIG EAST Blue Division match at Georgetown. Kickoff against the Hoyas is set for noon Central time (1 p.m. ET).
"Thursday and Friday we will start breaking down Georgetown and adjust our play," Bennett said. "We are not going to treat this game any differently."
Marquette Starters: Lyon (GK), Dillon, Sjoberg, Ciesiulka, Robb, Lysak, Selvaggi, E. Pothast, Jansson, Hermsen, Islami (Subs: Huftalin)