Sept. 9, 2011
Site: DeKalb, Ill. (NIU Soccer Complex)
Score: Portland 2, Northwestern 1
Records: NU (1-2-1), Portland (2-1-1)
Next NU Event: Sunday, Sept. 11 -- vs. Valparaiso (DeKalb, Ill.), 1:30 p.m.
DeKALB, Ill. -- Oliver Kupe's team-leading third goal of the season stood up until the 86th minutes of play before Portland rallied for two scores late in regulation to stun Northwestern 2-1 Friday afternoon in the first match of the NIU adidas Invitational.
NU dominated the opening half of play and its efforts paid off at 40:35 as Kupe took a feed from Layth Masri and beat Pilot goalkeeper Justin Baarts from near the top of the box to put the 'Cats in front.
Northwestern's stingy defense held Portland without a shot over the opening 45 minutes of play while the Wildcats recorded eight themselves, including three on goal.
The Pilots finally notched their first shot of the contest at the 53:46 mark. NU maintained the one-goal lead as the match headed into the final 10 minutes of regulation. The Wildcats took a pair of yellow cards with the second resulting in a free kick for Joe Sleven, but freshman Tyler Miller made a save to keep the shutout intact.
Miller, who notched shutouts in each of his first two collegiate starts, appeared to be on track for his third in a row, but a header by Keith Grubisich off a free kick by Colin Anderson tied the match with just 4:16 remaining in regulation.
The Pilots were able to notch the stunning game-winner just a minute and 20 seconds later as Sleven scored off a scramble inside the six-yard box to give Portland the lead for good.
Masri got off a shot on goal with just under two minutes left in regulation, but Baarts made the save as Portland completed the comeback.
Northwestern finished the match with a 10-6 edge in shots while each team had two corner kicks. Miller recorded two saves for the Wildcats.
NU returns to action at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in DeKalb as it wraps up the invitational by taking on Valparaiso.
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