Junior Courtney Ksiazek (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) scored in the 89th minute Friday afternoon as the Northern Illinois women’s soccer team recorded a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Bowling Green at the NIU Soccer Complex.
“I was happy with our ability to come back,” said NIU head coach John Ross.
“I think that maybe we were just over enthused early on and that led to some indecision and our slow start. But I was really happy with the way our kids responded from being down. It could have been easy for them to fold it in for the day, but they stuck with it and were rewarded.”
Bowling Green (1-11-1, 0-4-1 MAC) opened the scoring in the 28th minute on a goal by Sidney Huth. The Falcons won a corner and it was Huth that played the set piece into the Huskie box.
The initial ball was cleared, but only back to Huth who collected and took a couple of touches inside the NIU penalty area. She then let go a shot that deflected off a Huskie defender, wrong-footing goalkeeper Amy Carr (Hemel Hempstead, England/Townsend Church of England), and found the back of the net.
Carr finished the contest with three saves.
NIU answered in the 39th minute as sophomore Lauren Noonan (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) scored her first career goal. The Huskies won a corner and Johnson played the ball toward the back-post where Noonan rose highest and headed home and equalizer for the Huskies.
After the break, junior Corinne Frankenberg (Appleton, Wis./Appleton East) had an excellent opportunity to put the Huskies in front. Frankenberg found herself in behind the Bowling Green defense in the 67th minute but her shot sailed over the top of the crossbar.
The Huskies continued to control much of the play in the second half, allowing just one shot to the Falcons in the second 45 minutes. Despite that edge in play, the game remained even, 1-1, into the final moments of regulation.
With less than two minutes to play, the Huskies won a corner that would prove to be the difference.
Johnson and freshman Emily Nulty (Omaha, Neb./Marian) each went to the corner as the Huskies played the ball short. After the initial touch a cross was whipped in just in front of the penalty spot where Ksiazek leaped above the crowded and headed past the out-stretched arms of the Bowling Green goalkeeper.
“It is something that we train a lot,” said Ross of the opportunities from corner kicks. “We take great pride in our dead balls, we are getting better and better at them and at creating opportunities, and today two went in, so we are obviously happy about that.”
The Huskies will return to action Sunday, Oct. 7, as they host Central Michigan at the NIU Soccer Complex. Game time against the Chippewas is scheduled for 1 p.m.
For more information on NIU women’s soccer and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.