Eddie Knight’s double leads huskies past Chicago State

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DEKALB, Illinois— A pair of second half goals Eddie Knight (Frisco, Texas/Lone Star) helped lead the Northern Illinois University men’s soccer team to a 2-0 win over Chicago State on Monday night (October 17) at the NIU Soccer Complex.

“There are three games left at this point, including four, and realistically we needed to win all four to play in the conference championship,” said the NIU head coach Ryan Swan. “So it was a great result and we’re happy to get the three points. We’re happy to get the points but we know we have to improve if we want to win the last three games.”

After a scoreless first 45 minutes, the first chance of the second half came in the 52nd minute when NIU (5-5-4, 2-2-1 MAC) helped build the right flank Camilo Estrada (Dallas, Texas/Lone Star) to play the last ball Diego Maynez (El Paso, Texas/Lone Star), who shot just wide of the target.

Six minutes later Angel Rodriguez (Elgin, Illinois/Ignite Christian Academy) Chicago State goaltender Sunny Dhaliwal tested a free kick from about 25 yards, but Dhaliwal saved and saved.

The Huskies took the lead in the 65th minute with Knight’s first goal of the competition. Dylan Banker (McHenry, Illinois/McHenry West) sent a low cross Enrique Banuelos (Mexico City, Mexico/Virginia) near the penalty spot. Banuelos took a touch and fired a shot that hit the post, but Knight was alert to knock the rebound into an open goal and put the Huskies ahead.

Shortly after the kick-off, Niall Reid-Stephen turned away from a Huskie defender and came into the box to shoot from a tight angle that forced a save from the NIU goaltender Martin Sanchez (Bloomington, Minn./Kennedy).

In the 69th minute Adrian Corona (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield Central) close-range shot that pinned Dhaliwal in place, but the shot went just wide of the far post.

Chicago State (1-10-3, 0-5-0 MAC) earned a free kick just over 30 yards from goal in the last minute. Reid-Stephen’s first shot from the free kick was blocked by the NIU wall and the Huskies crawled the ball away and countered 2-on-0.

Banuelos put the ball down Knight’s path, who got behind Dhaliwal and tapped the open net in the dying seconds to seal the win for the Huskies.

“He looked dangerous the whole time he was on the field,” said Swan of Knight. “He’s got this explosive speed and sometimes scoring is just a mentality so hopefully scoring a few goals today will be a confidence boost and this would be a great time to get a little purple spot on goalscoring.”

Sanchez made three saves while earning his fourth shutout of the season, Dhaliwal recorded a stop for the Cougars.

In the first half Maynez had a chance from a corner which he missed wide with a volley in the 16th minute. Three minutes later, Manyez almost caught Dhaliwal off his line, but his attempt to chip from outside the 18 went wide.

Estrada set up a free-kick in the 23rd minute and sent his shot wide as the keeper was forced into a save in the first 45 minutes.

NIU will be back in action on Tuesday, October 25th when the Huskies host Bowling Green. Game time against the Falcons is scheduled for 7 p.m

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