Men’s soccer still looking for first season win

Josh Purnell, Courier Staff


MACOMB, Ill. — The Western Illinois men’s soccer team (0-9-0) fell a goal short in a 2-1 loss to Northern Illinois (4-4-1) on Saturday, Sept. 28. This is the Leathernecks sixth loss to the Huskies in history of the matches between these two teams.

The Huskies took the first lead of the game in the 12th minute when midfielder Christian Molina assisted forward Jan Maertins inside the box. Maertins fired a shot in the bottom corner for his third goal of the season.

The Huskies nearly added another score when forward Miguel Maynez Jr fired a kick that hit the top of the post. During most of the first half, the Leathernecks only fired four shots, and Northern Illinois goalkeeper Martin Sanchez saved two of them; the other two going wide of the goal.

In the 30th minute of the game, Western midfielder Arian Mehrang was substituted in the game for midfielder Mitchell Moynihan. Mehrang immediately had an impact, with three minutes left on the clock before halftime, Mehrang assisted forward Ryan DeBois inside the middle of the box and Debois bashed the ball into the bottom right corner, scoring his first goal of the season to tie the game.

The Leathernecks were out of whack in the second half, though. In the first 20 minutes of the game, the Purple and Gold fired four shots that were all off-target. The Huskies nearly scored their second goal in the 68th minute when forward Enrique Banuelos fired a shot towards the bottom right corner, but Western goalkeeper Tim Trilk saved it.

Western nearly scored again in the 81st minute when midfielder Luke Duball tested Sanchez with a shot in the top right corner, but the NIU goalkeeper was able to make the stop, and the match remained a tie.

With one minute left of regulation, defender Diego Sanz fired a shot in the top right corner, but it was saved once again by Trilk as neither team could break the tie and the game headed into overtime.

Early minutes in overtime, Western midfielder Xavier Brown shot the ball but it went out over the top of the goal. In the 93rd minute, Northern forward Nick Markanich had a chance to break the tie after a foul called on Western. Markanich shot the ball far right missing the goal. In the 95th minute, the Leathernecks had a shot at another goal but the referee called offside. DeBois fired his second shot bottom center to try and break the tie, but Northern goalkeeper Sanchez made his fifth shot of the game in the 97th minute.

NIU wasted no time sprinting downfield as Nick Markanich assisted his brother Anthony Markanich inside the box. Anthony scored his fourth goal of the season to win the game in overtime. Western goalkeeper Trilk had three saves in the game, adding on to his season total of 51 saves. Western midfielder Enric Ferrer led the team with four shots.

Western Illinois will travel to Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville for a matchup with the Cougars on Tuesday.