Huskies, Wisconsin play to scoreless tie in Madison
MADISON, Wis. – The Northern Illinois University men’s soccer team was held 0-0 Wednesday night (Sept. 28) in Wisconsin. Guardian Husky Martin Sanchez (Bloomington, Minn./Kennedy) was credited with two saves in the contest.
“We knew it would be difficult to come here,” said NIU head coach Ryan Swan. “We knew Wisconsin is well organized and dangerous on set pieces. I was happy we kept the shutout, it was important, and we had a couple of decent looks on goal. A little disappointed that we We were held scoreless but after the West Michigan game, it was important for us to put on a good defensive display, and we did that.”
Neither team created many chances until the 27th minute, when Malcolm Neighborhood (Youngs, Australia/Newington College) played a low cross for Miguel Maynez Jr. (El Paso, Texas/New Mexico) in the box and Maynez narrowly missed the near post.
Five minutes later, Adrian Corona (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield Central) played Enrique Banuelos (Mexico City, Mexico/Virginia) behind the Wisconsin defense and Banuelos forced a save from Wisconsin goaltender Carter Abbott as both teams entered the interval without scoring.
Ten minutes after halftime, Wisconsin created a chance when Max Keenan fired a shot just inside the corner of the penalty area, just wide of the far post. Two minutes later, Ward made a long run down the right side for the Huskies and entered the box before shooting wide past the near post.
Just before the hour mark, Wisconsin had the opportunity to open the scoring from a corner as the ball headed towards Jack Finnegan whose shot was well saved by Sanchez from close range.
Wisconsin’s height advantage continued to make the home side dangerous from corners throughout the second half and Sanchez was called off twice in the 82nd minute, including an exceptional full-strength save on a shot by Tim Bielic.
The Huskies had a couple of chances to snatch a winner late in the game. Banuelos combined with Zachary Thomas (Burnaby, BC/Moscrop Secondary) with seven minutes left, but the angle was just too tight for Thomas to threaten the Badgers goal. In the 89th minute, NIU had a corner and Parker Jeppson (Lincoln, Neb./Lincoln Southwest) rose to win near the top of the penalty box, but Abbott made the save as the two teams settled for a draw.
With the tie, NIU moves to 3-3-3 on the season while Wisconsin is now 3-4-1.
NIU will return to conference play on Sunday, Oct. 2, when the Huskies travel to 25th-ranked Akron. Game time against the Zips is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. CT and will be available on ESPN+.