Oct. 3, 2012
Site: Shea Stadium (Peoria, Ill.)
Score: Bradley 3, No. 22 Northwestern 1
Records: NU (7-2-2, 2-0-0 B1G), Bradley (6-3-2, 0-0-0 MVC)
Next NU Event: Tuesday, Oct. 9 - vs. No. 10 Notre Dame - 7 p.m. - Lakeside Field
PEORIA, Ill. - Northwestern freshman Henry Herrill scored his first career goal Wednesday on the road at Bradley, but the Wildcats were unable to overcome two early second-half goals by the home team and playing a man down as the Braves emerged the 3-1 victors.
“Even though at times we played very good soccer and kept the ball for long periods of times, Bradley was better at executing their game plan than we were," Northwestern head coach Tim Lenahan said. "At the end of the day, when you have two pretty equal teams, it’s the team that executes their game plan that’s going to be successful and they were able to do that. It's a disappointing loss for us but we’ll hopefully rebound over the next five days since we have a big game against Notre Dame next week. We’ll get recharged and ready to go.”
It was a defensive battle to start the match as neither team had many legitimate scoring chances. The first shot of the match did not come until the 20th minute when NU senior Kyle Schickel's
shot was saved by Bradley keeper Brian Billings.
Northwestern had five first-half shots compared to three for Bradley and Herrill scored his goal on NU's fourth look of the half at 38:37. Sophomore defender Nikko Boxall sent a long ball to Herrill who was one-on-one with a Bradley defender and slipped one past Billings from the left flank to give Northwestern the 1-0 lead just before halftime.
Both Northwestern and Bradley are known for their strong play in the second half of matches as the Wildcats had 10 second-half goals coming into today's game and the Braves had 11. On Wednesday, it was the home team who staged a second-half comeback as the Braves scored two goals just over six minutes into the second half.
J.T. Kotowski tallied the equalizer off a free kick opportunity at 49:08 and Scott Davis put Bradley up 2-1 at 51:05.
The Wildcats had their chances in the ensuing minutes but one of Schickel's shots went wide left and another look was saved by Billings. Freshman Joey Calistri had another shot stopped by Billings.
NU played the rest of the match down a player Boxall was issued a red card in the 63rd minute.
Despite Bradley's man advantage, NU still maintained possession for much of the second half and had the opportunity to tie things up shortly after the red card when a Bradley foul inside the box set up a penalty kick for the 'Cats at 64:56. Taking his second PK in as many matches, senior Chris Ritter sent his shot to the left side of the net but Billings went with the ball, making the save.
NU was unable to find the back of the net again and Bradley's final goal came in the closing seconds after sophomore goalkeeper Tyler Miller left the net to make a play on the ball in the midfield. With Miller out of position, Ross Williams got loose and was able to score on an open net.
Northwestern finished with the 18-11 advantage on shots, including 13-8 clip in the second half. Billings made eight saves on the evening while Miller stopped two shots. NU also had the 6-3 advantage on corner kicks, including four in the second half.
The Wildcats return home for two games next week at Lakeside Field. NU begins the week against 10th-ranked Notre Dame Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. and then returns to Big Ten action, hosting Ohio State Sunday, Oct. 14 at noon.
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