September 14, 2012
Wildcats’ unbeaten streak at six after win over Iona
EVANSTON, Ill. -- A pair of well-crafted goals early in the second half and a stout performance on defense gave the Northwestern Wildcats a 2-0 win over Iona on the first day of action at the Lakeside Classic Friday evening. Freshman Joey Calistri netted his team-leading fourth goal of the year just after halftime and senior Kyle Schickel headed home his third of the season to help NU (4-0-2) remain unbeaten.
“It was a great win," Northwestern head coach Tim Lenahan said. "They’re a very talented team and you can see how they won 15 games last year...We were able to make a couple of plays and then I thought we did a good job managing the game once we got a 2-0 lead, which we hadn’t done the last few weeks. Again, it was a great great win for us. Joey continues to score goals and it was nice to get that insurance goal by Kyle Schickel."
Sophomore goalie Tyler Miller stopped three Iona shots to post his second shutout of the year.
Northwestern dictated possession through the opening 20 minutes, forcing a save by Iona less than a minute into the contest and keeping the pressure on from there. The Gaels' first true look at net came with 20 minutes remaining in the first half, when Iona's Ansger Otto deftly wove his way through NU's back line and ripped a left-footed shot that sailed just barely high of the upper left corner of the goal.
Minutes later, Northwestern's Nick Gendron received a through ball behind the Iona defense and put a one-time shot on net, but a sprawling Borja Barbero was there to deny the NU senior.
The Wildcats appeared to break through with just over eight minutes to play in the half when NU earned a free kick at the left corner of the box. The ensuing cross was bobbled by Barbero and tapped in by NU's Grant Wilson for an apparent goal, but the official's ruling was that Northwestern illegally jarred the ball loose from Barbero's possession, taking the goal off the scoreboard.
But just 3:45 into the second half, Northwestern created another golden opportunity that would not be denied. Cutting from right to left toward the middle of the field, sophomore Eric Weberman dissected the Iona defense with a left-footed through-ball to a running Calistri. Calistri found himself all alone with the Iona goalkeeper and had the composure to finish a low shot to the near post to put the hosts ahead.
Ten minutes later, a terrific buildup from the NU back line across midfield ended when Wilson advanced from his right back position and received the ball in space outside the penalty area. The sophomore looked up and spotted a wide-open Kyle Schickel behind the Gaels defense at the far post, and Wilson delivered a spot-on cross that Schickel easily headed home for the third goal of his senior campaign.
Northwestern had a pair of late chances turned aside by stellar saves by Barbero, first on a one-timer in front of the net by Peter Beasley and again two minutes later on a blast by Nick Gendron.
NU finished with an 11-9 edge in shots and took the only two corner kick.
The Lakeside Classic rolls on Sunday when Northern Illinois faces Iona at 11:30 a.m. followed by Northwestern's tilt with Milwaukee at 2 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the entrance to Lakeside Field.
"We’ve got a tough Milwaukee team on Sunday that’s really playing well under their first-year head coach," Lenahan said. "They won today, so we’re going to be ready for a tough game on Sunday."