DeKALB – Central Michigan’s Christen Chiesa scored the golden goal in the 108th minute of play to lift the Chippewas (9-4-1, 5-1 MAC) over Northern Illinois in double overtime, 2-1. The Huskies fell to 6-5-2 overall and 2-2-2 in Mid-American Conference play.
“We played the best soccer we played all year for the first 35 of the match,” said Head Coach John Ross. “After that we kind of lost control and we didn’t play as well as we should have against Central. They are very good team and they showed that today with a great goal.”
The match started very slowly as the teams traded fouls at midfield. In the 26th minute of play, things were spiced up a bit as the first great offensive chance reared its head. Junior Frances Boukidis worked the ball towards the net and at the top of the 18-yard box she curled a shot towards the far post where goalkeeper Stefanie Turner got a great piece of the ball to stop the shot.
With the ball falling to the pitch, slowly rolling and bouncing to the post and still in play, Boukidis ran past Turner on the turf and after the ball to put it in the net but was fouled hard into the post by defender Katie Slaughter who was shown a red card. Boukidis did not return to the match after the foul.
With the card being shown inside the box, a penalty kick was awarded to the Huskies. Sophomore Allie McBride stepped up to the spot for her first penalty attempt in her college career and handled it with grace, taking two steps toward the ball and putting it to her right, the opposite of the goalkeeper, to give Northern Illinois a 1-0 lead over Central Michigan.
NIU continued to play well and maintained possession well with its 11 players to CMU’s 10. The Huskies outshot the Chippewas 8-5 in the first stanza.
In the second half, Northern Illinois was unable to get into the attacking third and create breathing room for its 1-0 lead and only had four shots to the Chips 10. CMU pressured with the ball and created several good chances but several were shots from low-percentage places. In the 75th minute, Autumn Hawkins made a great effort at net and took a great shot on goal, where goalkeeper Amy Carr made the first save, but was unable to grab the ball while on the ground and Hawkins slipped the loose ball past Carr’s legs to equalize the match.
When overtime started, the match was a conservative passing affair as teams worked the ball around the field to maintain possession and wind the clock down. Both teams did not take a shot in the first period of overtime.
The second overtime was very similar to the first but Central Michigan found a chance and ran with it in the closing minutes of the match. Chiesa received a pass from the top-middle of the 18-yard box, where she took a touch to settle the ball and her body possession. She wrong footed the ball from a yard outside the top corner of the box, knuckling the ball to crossbar, where it slowly dropped. Carr jumped up to push the ball over the net but only got her fingers to it to lift CMU over NIU, 2-1.
It was the sixth-straight loss to Central Michigan for the Huskies. Carr finished with four saves in the match.
Northern Illinois will return to the pitch Friday afternoon for a contest against Miami (Ohio) at 4 p.m. NIU will celebrate Senior Day Sunday against Ball State at 1 p.m.