Sept. 10, 2010
Site: DeKalb, Ill. (NIU Track/Soccer Complex)
Score: Northwestern 4, Cleveland State 0
Records: NU (1-2-0, 0-0-0 Big Ten), Cleveland State (1-2-0, 0-0-0 Horizon)
Next NU Event: Sunday, Sept. 12 -- vs. Oregon State (DeKalb, Ill.), 11 a.m.
DeKALB, Ill. -- Oliver Kupe posted a pair of second-half goals and the Northwestern men's soccer team earned its largest margin of victory in three years as the Wildcats opened the NIU adidas/Magnuson Inn Invitational with a 4-0 victory over Cleveland State Friday afternoon.
The four-goal margin of victory for the Wildcats is their largest since a 4-0 win at Ohio State Sept. 23, 2007.
Northwestern created an opportunity a minute into the match as it forced a turnover deep in the Cleveland State third and an ensuing foul gave the Wildcats a free kick from 20 yards out. Matt Eliason's first shot hit a wall of Vikings' players before his rebound went just high.
NU was the recipient of a huge break just minutes later when freshman Scott Lakin
tracked down the ball in the corner and fired a service toward the goal. The ball went squarely off a Cleveland State player and into the back of the net for an own goal, giving the Wildcats the early lead at the 4:09 mark.
Eliason recorded six of Northwestern's eight shots in the first half, including a late chance when he found himself all alone with Viking keeper Brad Stuver after taking a feed from Kupe. However, Stuver came out of the net to meet Eliason at the top of the 18 and make the save.
NU earned a corner kick in the final minute of the half and came close again, but Jack Hillgard's header was saved off the goalline.
It didn't take the Wildcats long to get an insurance goal in the second half as Kupe deposited a score 121 seconds into the period. Eliason flagged down the ball at the goal line and fired a cross to the front of the net where Kupe was waiting to volley it in for his first tally of the season.
NU stretched its advantage to three just 45 seconds later on a similar play. Layth Masri played the ball deep where Peter O'Neill tracked it down at nearly the same spot as Eliason and found Kupe in front for a header and his second goal of the match.
The two-goal performance marked the second multi-goal game of Kupe's career. He also scored twice in a win over Notre Dame in the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
Northwestern put the game out of reach at 60:28 when Hillgard got into the scoring act as he cleaned up a feed from Piero Bellizzi. Masri picked up his second assist of the day on the play.
The output was more than enough for junior Drew Kotler who made his first start of the season and earned his first collegiate shutout, making four saves. Northwestern finished with a 15-12 edge in shots.
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