NIU adidas Invite
Northwestern (RV) (1-0-2) vs. Drake (1-3-0)
Friday, Sept. 7 • 2 p.m. CT
DeKalb, Ill. • NIU Soccer Complex
Live Stats: Gametracker
Northwestern (RV) (1-0-2) vs. Rhode Island (0-2-1)
Sunday, Sept. 9 • 11 a.m. CT
DeKalb, Ill. • NIU Soccer Complex
Live Stats: Gametracker
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NIU Invite Match Notes
Northwestern is back on the road this weekend but doesn’t have to travel far, playing in DeKalb, Ill., at the NIU adidas Invite. The Wildcats will take on Drake Friday at 2 p.m. and Rhode Island Sunday at 11 a.m. NU will not play the host, Northern Illinois, as the two teams square off in the regular season home finale at Lakeside Field on Oct. 24.
Last Time Out
Northwestern battled through tough conditions in Columbia, S.C., last weekend at the Gamecock Classic playing two afternoon games in blistering heat. The Wildcats came back to beat Kentucky 2-1 in overtime Friday and settled for a double-overtime 0-0 draw with the host team, South Carolina, Sunday.
On Friday, NU got down early as Kentucky struck first in the 10th minute. Trailing nearly the entire game, NU freshman forward Joey Calistri scored his first career goal at the perfect time, tying things up at the 74:00 mark. Senior midfielder Kyle Schickel then put the game away in overtime, scoring off a header at 95:43, giving Northwestern its first win of the season.
Sunday’s match had a heat index of more than 100 degrees and the ’Cats played through 110 minutes of scoreless action for their first shutout of the season. NU defended 14 South Carolina shots and sophomore goalkeeper Tyler Miller saved three of those.
Following the tournament, senior defender Jarrett Baughman was named Defensive MVP of the Gamecock Classic while Schickel, Calistri and junior midfielder Lepe Seetane made the all-tournament team.
Hard to Beat
The Wildcats are unbeaten on the year so far (1-0-2) and have not lost a regular season game in quite some time. Dating back to last season, NU has not lost a regular-season game since Sept. 28, 2011 and is unbeaten in its last 12 regular-season contests (8-0-4). Northwestern rattled of an 11-match unbeaten streak last year, which included two wins in the Big Ten Tournament. Northwestern’s lone loss in nearly a year was during the NCAA Tournament; meaning NU is unbeaten in 14 of its last 15 games (9-1-5).
All three of Northwestern’s games so far this year have gone to extra time. NU has finished with two ties in double-overtime and ended its second game of the season in the first OT. The last time NU played three consecutive overtime games was Oct. 22-Nov. 2, 2006. Northwestern still has a few more OT games to go to match the school record of eight OT games played in 2009 and 2004.
With NU’s shutout of South Carolina last Sunday, Tyler Miller is now in sole possession of fourth on the program’s career shutout list. The sophomore from Woodbury, N.J., has 10 shutouts in his 22 games played over the last two seasons. Two more shutouts would tie him for third with Matt Keeler who had 12 from 1997-99. George Kokodynski is second with 16 (1987-90) while Misha Rosenthal’s 29 shutouts (2005-09) stands as the program record.
Northwestern has allowed just two goals so far this season, which ranks second in the Big Ten. NU’s 0.57 goals-against average also is second in the conference as Indiana tops the Big Ten at 0.24, allowing one goal in four games. Coincidentally, Northwestern (1-0-2) and Indiana (3-0-1) are the only two unbeaten Big Ten teams remaining.
Drake is 1-3-0 on the year, winning its first match last weekend in its home opener, defeating Loyola (Chicago), 3-1. Drake suffered a pair of 1-0 setbacks to Cincinnati and Saint Louis during the opening weekend and was shut out by Marquette 2-0 last Sunday. Nick Marshall, Addison Eck and Logan North each have a goal to lead the team. Junior defender Garrett Crall was named to the preseason All-Missouri Valley Conference squad. The Bulldogs posted an 11-8-1 mark in 2011 and were picked to finish fifth in the preseason MVC poll. NU is 6-2-2 all-time vs. Drake.
Scouting Rhode Island
Rhode Island is searching for its first win of the season (0-2-1) but has been close in all three matches. The Rams lost 1-0 to Vermont and 1-0 to Brown before scoring four goals in a 4-4 tie vs. Bryant at Rhode Island’s Ocean State Soccer Classic. Matt Skyes tallied two goals vs. Bryant and currently leads the team in scoring. Senior Robby Gargano was a College Sports Madness Preseason All-Conference Pick while Sykes, a sophomore, was listed among Top Drawer Soccer’s Top-20 Players to watch from the Atlantic 10. This is the first meeting between the Wildcats and Rams.
Coming Home Again
After this weekend, Northwestern returns home to Lakeside Field for four straight matches. The Wildcats host the annual Lakeside Classic Sept. 14-16 with a field including Iona, Milwaukee and Northern Illinois. Following the tournament, NU kicks off its 2012 Big Ten title defense vs. Michigan at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, and then hosts cross-town rival DePaul on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m.
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The Last Meeting
September 25, 2009
Northwestern Settles For 2-2 Draw With Drake
Matt Eliason tallied his Big Ten-leading eighth goal of the season and Eamon O'Neill scored his first for the No. 17 Northwestern men's soccer team, but Drake got the tying score with 3:30 remaining to earn a 2-2 draw Friday evening at Lakeside Field.