Men soccer fall to Huskies


Becca Langys/ Photo Editor

Tim Trilk catches the ball in practice.

Bradley Piros, Assistant Sports Editor

DEKALB, Ill. – The Western Illinois men’s soccer team took back to the pitch on Wednesday as they traveled up state to visit the Northern Illinois University Huskies. The Leathernecks lost that contest 1-0 under the lights, bringing their record down to 1-4-1.

Northern Illinois was on its game right away and made it a really difficult night, head coach Eric Johnson said after the game.

He was referring to the early goal that his side allowed in only the 13th minute. It was a quiet game up until then, only a couple of fouls as the teams were feeling each other out. One of those fouls though would award NIU with a rather dangerous freekick.

The ball was whipped in from Anthony Markanich and headed along by Alex Welch. Finally, the ball made its way to Diego Sanz as he headed it in for his first goal of the season, giving the Huskies the early lead.

Western didn’t let this bother them too much, as they did their best to get one back all game. Around the 16th minute mark, Western had a string of three straight corner kicks. Sophomore midfielder Paul Kirdorf whipped all of these in, looking for his usual target, senior defender Jamison Kozar.

The pair have connected to score off a couple free kicks this season, however they failed to do so on any of these attempts. This string of offense would end up being Western’s only chances in the first half, as the Huskies took the 1-0 lead into the locker-room.

Western changed a few players around to begin the second half, relying on the depth of the team’s underclassmen, but the first action of the half would still come from the Huskies. In the 48th minute Christian Molina sent in a shot trying to test the junior goalkeeper in Tim Trilk, however this shot would soar over the crossbar.

Western took the goal kick and sent the ball all the way up field where they were awarded another corner. Kirdorf took this one as well, but still couldn’t find a connection, as there were a couple of fouls inside the box from Western.

From here on out, the game was back and forth between the teams. NIU took the ball down field to take a shot that was blocked away for a corner. Nothing would come of that chance for the Huskies.

Western came back with a corner kick of their own in the 60th minute. Kirdorf once again sent in the ball, this time connecting with Kozar, however, his header was blocked. This ended up being one of Western’s best opportunities to tie the game.

The teams traded shots around the 65th minute, none of them finding the back of the net. The Leatherneck’s last chance for redemption was in the 88th minute as freshman forward Cesar Cosio took a shot, going just wide left of the goal.

“We were second to the ball during the entire first half and fortunate not to go down by two or three. We rebounded a bit in the second half, but they closed it out and did not give us much. Hats off to them,” Johnson said.

The Leathernecks were outshot 13-5, unable to find a way to put a shot on goal. Each team recorded seven corner kicks and there was a total of 23 fouls between them. Trilk made four saves to try and keep his team in the game.

In the end, they lost to a talented NIU side and will have to pick themselves up as they take on the Crusaders of Valparaiso University at 1 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. This will be the final game of their two-game road trip. The Leathernecks will return home on Tuesday to take on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Jaguars.

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