Sept. 22, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill.- The No. 16 Northwestern Wildcats defeated Fairleigh Dickinson 2-1 on Sunday afternoon, going undefeated in the 2013 Lakeside Classic. NU midfielder Chris Ritter was named Tournament MVP after notching two goals the last two games.
The first half featured few scoring chances for either team. Joey Calistri's speed up front provided most of NU's opportunities, with their best look coming from a point-blank shot by Lepe Seetane. Calistri took a through ball into the goal box and found Seetane coming up the far side but the shot was blocked by the FDU keeper. On the other side of the ball, NU held the Knights to just 3 shots.
"You play in these Friday, Sunday games and it's a grind. Nowhere else in the world are they playing Friday, Sunday," head coach Tim Lenahan said. "So at the end of the first half we made a decision to sub some guys knowing that maybe they would wear down. I think our bench was a little bit deeper. We did have a little bit of wind, but we were able to tempo up."
The scoring livened up in the second half and NU struck first. Calistri started things off with a pass ahead to Seetane up the left side. Seetane created space and sent a low pass right at the FDU keeper, who was in position to make the save until a streaking Brandon Medina redirected the ball into the net. Medina has proven to be a very versatile piece of the Northwestern offense even just a few games into his career. Whether he's taking the point of attack or serving as NU's free kick specialist, Medina's skills provided great opportunities for NU even beyond just scoring goals.
Fairleigh Dickinson equalized just eight minutes later, after a cross from Kelvin Preciado was deflected and fell to an open Simon Doherty, who hooked in his first career goal. It only took five minutes for NU to respond and it began again with Calistri's speed. He controlled a great ball sent over the top of the defense, and as he streaked into FDU's penalty area, he was pulled down by an FDU defender. Chris Ritter hammered home the penalty and the `Cats took the lead for good, 2-1.
Northwestern threatened a few more times and it took some key saves from FDU keeper Jacob Lissek to keep the margin at one. The `Cats buckled down on defense and the Knights had no real chance to respond, managing only one other shot after the goal.
NU returns to action traveling to Michigan on Saturday, Sep. 28. NU returns home to Lakeside Field to face Bradley on Wednesday, Oct. 2.
2013 Lakeside Classic All-Tournament Team
Chris Ritter, Northwestern, M (MVP)
Joey Calistri, Northwestern, F
Brandon Medina, Northwestern, M
Connor Holloway, Northwestern, M
Martin Lukaschik, Fairleigh Dickinson, M
Ande Vest-Hansen, Fairleigh Dickinson, M
Nicholas Walker, Fairleigh Dickinson, D
James Stevenson, Northern Illinois, F
Isaac Kannah, Northern Illinois, M/F
Jake Stenberg, Saint Mary's, M
Bobby Conner, Saint Mary's, D
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