“We have been working on a lot of difference pieces to the puzzle and some of them came together pretty well today, especially in the second half,” said NIU head coach Eric Luzzi. “I thought our mentality was more cutthroat, on both sides of the ball. We had a lot of the ball in the first half but didn’t do much with it. In the second half the guys did a good job of being a little more aggressive in the middle third and the final third.”
After a scoreless opening 45 minutes, NIU wasted little time breaking the deadlock in the second half as Kannah gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead less than three minutes into the second half. The Plymouth, Minn., native pounced on an Indianapolis giveaway at the top of the 18-yard box, made a move around the goalkeeper and ripped a shot from 19 yards out to open the scoring.
Stevenson doubled the NIU advantage in the 55th minute on a goal from a set piece. Sophomore Sean Totsch took the free kick from about 35 yards out, playing the ball to sophomore Gael Rivera near the edge of the box. Rivera slipped a pass to Stevenson who was unmarked six yards from goal and Stevenson made no mistake in slotting home a second goal for the Huskies.
Just 49 seconds later Kannah capped the scoring with his second of the afternoon. Kannah picked up a loose ball about 12 yards from goal and fired past the Indianapolis goalkeeper.
“I thought in the first half we were feeling things out and then in the last 15 minutes we got tired and play dropped off,” Luzzi said. “Then we had a break at halftime and came out a little fresher.”
The three Huskie goals were scored during a 7:35 span.
Northern Illinois will wrap up the exhibition portion of its schedule Saturday, Aug. 20, when the Huskies face No. 19-ranked Michigan State in Fort Wayne, Ind., at the Shindigz National Soccer Festival. Game time against the Spartans is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
For more information on NIU men’s soccer and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.