The Northern Illinois women’s soccer team fell 1-0 Sunday afternoon to Ball State following a failed clearance attempt in the ninth minute of play in windy, rainy conditions at NIU Soccer Complex.
Thunder and lightning caused a 71-minute delay in the 25th minute.
“It was a difficult day in Senior Day and I think everyone was really excited for that and I think everyone wanted to do well for the seniors,” said head coach John Ross, “but sometimes wanting to do too much leads to not doing enough and I think that’s where we found ourselves today. Ball State is a very good team and they played very well and I think that was a problem for us as well.”
During the Senior Day ceremonies, the wind began to pick up and 10 minutes later at the conclusion of the national anthem, a heavy rain began to spit on field and the players to setup a slick pitch for the match.
Ball State began on the attack in the match and in the ninth minute of play with a loose ball inside the 18-yard box, a Northern Illinois defender cleared the ball, but failed to get it past the center attacking midfielder Sarah Orisich. The attacker jumped in the air and collected the ball with her left boot to settle the ball at the top of the box and then fired to the far right of the net to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead.
BSU continued to control possession of the ball for the 25 minutes of the match until a clap of thunder and flash of lightning caused a delay and forced the officials and the players into the nearby Convocation Center. The inclement weather persisted for 31 minutes and after another 30 minutes, the teams were allowed to get back on the pitch, warm up and continue play.
When play resumed, despite the Cardinals advantage entering the delay, both teams were even with little to separate them in their play, a contrast to the Huskies first 25 minutes of play.
“I think the delay helped us more than it helped them, we were a little off at the beginning and that gave us a chance to get situated and the effort got much better, but we have a little ways to go. We got to get back to work on Tuesday and get it done.”
When the second half began, Northern Illinois began with the advantage as it worked into the attacking third with precision. The Huskies were able to move the ball around the box and attempt to breakdown the Cardinals defense. Eight minutes into the stanza, Kayra Thompson fired the Huskies first shot of the match, but it was blocked at the top of the box by a BSU defender.
The Huskies earned six corner kicks in the second period and were threatening to breakthrough on their attempts working the far and near posts.
In the 67th minute setup by a midfield interception and great through ball, Jasmine Moses worked the ball towards the net in a one on one situation with Amy Carr. Moses fired low and hard inside the box from 10 yards out, where Carr was able to make the save and collect the ball with ease to prevent BSU from going up 2-0.
With the Huskies giving little to no possession of the ball in the final 15 minutes, freshman Nicole Gobbo fired a great shot on net in the 84th minute of play, but goalkeeper Aubrey Buehler got a hand to it to force another NIU corner kick. The Huskies continued to fire shots but were unable to find any daylight in the defense as the backline blocked the rest of the shots.
A corner kick with 28 seconds remaining in the match was Northern Illinois’ last chance to score; the ball curved low and sailed into the side netting to end of the match.
Northern Illinois will return to action next weekend for a pair of matches at Kent State and Ohio Oct. 19 and 21, respectively.
For more information on NIU women’s soccer and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.