Soccer Cats Defeat Northern Illinois, Advance to MAC Semifinals
BUFFALO, N.Y. - The University of Kentucky men's soccer team defeated Northern Illinois, 1-0, on Friday, Nov. 3, to advance to the semifinals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 5, at RAC Field on the campus of the University at Buffalo. The Huskies end the season at 7-9-0.
Sophomore Chris McDaniel scored the game-winning goal in the 28th minute off of assists from sophomore Brian Mitts and senior Tyler Cook. Cook sent the ball through to Mitts who dribbled down the right line and crossed it back to McDaniel for his team-leading fifth goal of the season and the victory.
From that point, the Cats (9-8-1), playing without starters Giovanni Fernandes, Marc Theriault, and Greg Bironas, maintained a strong defense clearing out many balls, while senior Brian O'Leary made some crucial stops in goal. O'Leary collected six saves on the day to notch his sixth shutout of the season.
"Considering the number of injuries we have and the number of freshmen we played, I am very proud of the way we played," head coach Ian Collins said. "It was a tough game, and we now look forward to moving on to the semifinals."
On the day, UK held a 6-3 corner-kick advantage, while taking 11 shots to the Huskies' 12.
In the semifinals, the Cats will face either Bowling Green, which received a first-round bye, or Marshall. Game time for Sunday is yet to be determined.
College Men's Soccer Buffalo, N.Y. Att. 75 1 2 F NIU 0 0 0 UK 1 0 1Goals: UK Chris McDaniel (Brian Mitts, Tyler Cook) 28:34; NIU none
Shots: UK 11; NIU 12
Goalkeeper Saves: UK Brian O'Leary 6; NIU Rasih Pala 3
Corner Kicks: UK 6; NIU 3