Sloan’s 38th minute strike kept the Huskies perfect record intact as they move to 3-0 on the season.
The victory, coupled with a tie between Butler and Oakland, gave NIU the Michigan Invitational championship.
“Michigan is a good team, they were in the Final Four last year,” NIU head coach Eric Luzzi said. “They lost a lot of players but they are a really good team. They are athletic, they move the ball, they put you under a lot of pressure. I thought our guys came out a little scared and I thought it took us about 20 minutes to get a hold of the game. After that we managed our way to halftime and, to be fair to the guys, in the second half we were pretty good.”
The first good chance of the match fell to Michigan in the 11th minute as Latif Alashe had an opportunity from just outside the box, but his shot went high and wide.
The Wolverines again nearly opened the scoring four minutes later as a long ball out of the back found Matthew Ruckard down the left wing. Rickard’s shot hit the post on the short side and Alashe’s follow up attempt toward an open goal went wide.
In the 28th minute, Noble Sullivan whistled a shot for Michigan that appeared headed for the upper corner of the net until junior goalkeeper Godsey got a hand on it, pushing it over the crossbar.
Godsey finished the match with four saves.
NIU then scored against the run of play in the 38th minute as Sloan scored for the second-straight game. Freshman Isaac Kannah raced down the right side and sent in a low cross that ran all the way through the box to the run of Sloan who fired into the net.
“Isaac made a nice run in the channel and turned the guy,” Luzzi said. “He then played a fantastic ball across and, what can you say, second game in a row a game-winner for Pat Sloan.”
At halftime, Michigan held an 11-5 advantage in shots.
Less than 30 seconds into the second half the Huskies again escaped a chance by the Wolverines as Alashe’s shot from 25 yards rang off the crossbar.
Much of the next 30 minutes was played in the middle third of the field with neither team creating many opportunities until Michigan’s Fabio Pereira cut inside and sent a shot high over the crossbar with just under 18 minutes remaining.
Two minutes later the Huskies had an excellent opportunity as freshman Jayson LeSeth jumped on a loose ball just outside of the box and sent a shot just wide of the post.
Off a Michigan corner in the 82nd minute, Rickard had a chance with a second header, but his effort went just over the bar.
The Huskies managed to see out the closing moments of the contest and earned their third-straight road win to open the season.
Northern Illinois will return to action at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, when the Huskie open the home portion of their schedule hosting host Valparaiso on the first day of the NIU adidas Invitational. NIU will wrap up the tournament at 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, with a contest against Portland.
For more information on NIU men’s soccer and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.