NIU adidas Invite
Site: DeKalb, Ill. (NIU Soccer Complex)
Score: Northwestern (RV) 2, Drake 1
Records: NU (2-0-2), Drake (1-4-0)
Next NU Event: Sunday, Sept. 9 - vs. Rhode Island (DeKalb, Ill.), 11 a.m. CT
DEKALB, Ill. - Northwestern continued to keep things exciting Friday at the first game of the NIU adidas Invite, playing in yet another overtime match. Senior midfielder Chris Ritter made sure the Wildcats remained unbeaten, scoring less than three minutes into overtime (92:25), giving NU the 2-1 win over Drake.
All four of Northwestern's games so far this season have been overtime games and the current string of four-straight extra time matches is a new program record. With Friday's win, the Wildcats improve to 2-0-2 on the year while Drake drops to 1-4-0.
“The first half I thought Drake played really well," Northwestern head coach Tim Lenahan said. "They were definitely better at possession than us and we were really lucky to have an advantage going into halftime. They earned their goal with a great free kick by their player and it took us about 60 minutes or so to get going. Once we did, the last 25 minutes and then the first few minutes of overtime, we really started to find some space on them and create chances. We’d like to play a little better than we did for 90 minutes as opposed to just the last 25, but we’ll certainly take a win against a tough opponent. We’ll now get ready for a good Rhode Island team on Sunday.”
The Wildcats got on the board first against Drake, scoring their first first-half goal of the season in the 28th minute. Sophomore defender Grant Wilson sent a cross in from the right side to senior midfielder Kyle Schickel who headed it in from inside the six-yard box for his second goal of the season.
NU and Drake were fairly even at the end of the first half, despite NU's 1-0 lead, as both teams had three shots and a corner kick. Sophomore goalkeeper Tyler Miller stopped one shot in the first 45 minutes and that was his lone save of the match.
Drake tallied the equalizer shortly after the break at the 51:21 mark as Michael Thaden scored off a free kick from 25 yards out.
Northwestern outshot Drake 7-3 in the second half and had the 3-0 advantage on corners but was unable to capitalize as regulation came to a close.
Less than three minutes into overtime, NU already had three shots on goal, including the game-winner by Ritter, who scored off a corner kick. Wilson again contributed to the goal, taking the corner s he sent it in to defender Jarrett Baughman who passed it over to Ritter for his second goal of the season.
Northwestern finished with the 13-6 advantage on shots, had five corners compared to just one for Drake. Ritter's lone shot of the game resulted in a goal while Schickel and junior midfielder Lepe Seetane led NU with three shots each.
NU concludes competition at the NIU adidas Invite Sunday, playing Rhode Island at 11 a.m. in DeKalb, Ill.
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