Maya Warrior dribbles around an UNI player during the game vs. UNI on Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Carbondale, Ill. (Jared Treece | @bisalo )
Maya Warrior dribbles around an UNI player during the game vs. UNI on Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Carbondale, Ill.

Jared Treece | @bisalo

SIU soccer blanked 5-0 by Northern Iowa

March 21, 2021

Southern Illinois soccer dropped a 5-0 match to the Northern Iowa Panthers on Sunday at home. The Panthers dominated both halves of the game, scoring three goals in the first 45 minutes and two in the second half.

The Salukis (0-3-3, 0-2-3 MVC) finished their last two competitions before Northern Iowa in double overtimes, ending in 0-0 ties with Evansville on March 9 and Drake on March 14. 

“We’re still a young team. I think that, when faced with a little bit of adversity today, we didn’t quite know how to handle that, and it can snowball on you, so I think you saw some of that today,” SIU head coach Grant Williams said. 

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Northern Iowa’s offense took charge in the matchup, as they had 16 shots and 13 falling on goal compared to Southern’s three shots, one of which falling on goal. 

“We haven’t scored yet, but each game I think we definitely build the attack more and we are looking to possess the ball instead of just going [directly] and I definitely have seen big improvement this year,” midfielder/defender Kaitlin DuCharme said. 

DuCharme had one shot on goal for the Salukis during the game, which came during the first few minutes and was a drive at the bottom left of the goal saved by freshman goalkeeper Caitlin Richards. 

The Salukis started with sophomore goalkeeper Dariana Mihalache in goal, and she made three saves in the first half and one in the second.  

Northern Iowa capitalized on their free kick opportunities in the first half. Their first shot attempt came off of a free kick as a result of a foul by senior defender Kathryn Creedon, which gave Panther Lauren Heinsch an opportunity to shoot, which missed out top. 

Fourteen minutes into play a foul by Saluki sophomore midfielder/defender Sam DeJulio gave the Panthers another free kick attempt, this time giving Shelby Unruh the ball in the left corner to connect with Ashley Harrington on the cross for the goal. 

Harrington created UNI’s second goal opportunity by taking the corner kick in the right corner about two minutes later. Harrington’s kick connected with Allison Whitaker for the Panthers to take the 2-0 lead early on. 

Northern Iowa scored their third goal with Mihalache stepping out of goal to pursue. Panther junior forward/defender Sophia Conant, who had just subbed in, had the breakaway opportunity down the left field, and took a shot that rolled in the empty net while Mihalache stepped out to defend. 

Overall, the Panthers out-shot the Salukis by a margin of 8 to 2 in the first half, 6 of UNI’s falling on goal. 

Mihalache recorded three saves, and started out in goal in the second half before being replaced by sophomore goalkeeper Nicole Raventos in the 68th minute. Raventos had four saves for the remainder of the game.  

The Panthers found their fourth goal in the opening minutes of the second half, taking the 4-0 lead with a goal by Heinsch. 

UNI scored on another corner kick opportunity in the 54th minute; Harrington took the kick in the left corner and it was headed in by junior defender Sandra Thiman to put the Panthers up 5-0. 

Southern’s defense held off the Panthers for the remainder of the game. 

“I thought that we had, irregardless of a couple of goals in the second half, more of the ball, which, again, is encouraging,” Williams said. “You want to see your team respond in a positive way, so there was certainly some of that in the second half.”

SIU will travel to Chicago on March 28 looking for their first Missouri Valley Conference win against the Ramblers of Loyola University Chicago. Kickoff is set for 11:00 a.m.

Editor Brooke Buerck can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @bbuerck25. 

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