By Ethan Schroeder, news staff
Northeastern University’s (NU) men’s soccer team finished up its non-conference schedule this week and remains winless after two home losses.
The action this week started on Saturday when the Providence College (PC) Friars came into town to take on the Huskies (0-4-2). NU and PC (4-2-1) have played each other once a season for the past 10 years. Going into the game, Providence held the upper hand in the series with a 5-2-2 record. The visitors continued their recent success with a 2-1 victory.
856 fans were in attendance for the game, which was billed as “Los Huskies Night.” Though the game started with minimal offensive production, the Friars, who made it to last year’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament semifinals, broke the deadlock in the 38th minute. A back-heel goal from PC junior forward Mac Steeves had the stands buzzing.
Providence junior midfielder Dominik Machado, who had an assist on Steeves’ goal, followed up and scored in the 79th minute with a long-range shot from 25 yards out. The Huskies eventually got themselves on the scoreboard, but it was too little, too late. A close range knock-in from sophomore forward Khesanio Hall with 10 seconds left in the match did little more than help the Huskies save face.
With the majority of offensive output coming from counterattacking, Northeastern’s offense produced only five shots on Saturday, courtesy of Hall and sophomore Harry Swartz. PC redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Ben Seguljic only needed two saves to preserve the victory.
Tuesday night, NU had one last chance to salvage both its non-conference record and three-game home stand against the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Wildcats. The Huskies continued their self-destructive combination of dismal attack and subpar defense en route to a 1-0 loss.
If not for sophomore goalie Jonathan Thuresson’s performance in goal, the game wouldn’t have been so close. Thuresson’s season-high six saves raised his per-game average to 4.5 saves, the highest in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). UNH produced 19 shots in total.
Northeastern, by comparison, struggled against a New Hampshire team that earned its fourth consecutive shutout. For the second straight match, the Huskies only had one shot on goal in each half. The home team mustered six corner kicks, but found itself unable to capitalize on any chances.
UNH junior midfielder Riley Ellis scored the game’s only goal in the 48th minute. A shot from senior forward Ben Ramin bounced off of Thuresson, and Ellis calmly slotted in the rebound to tally what proved to be the difference maker.
This is the first time that NU has gone winless against non-conference opponents since the university joined the CAA in 2005. In 2009, the team posted a 1-5 non-conference record but went on to finish the season 10-8-1. Now, the team moves onto conference play on Saturday. Northeastern’s postseason hopes are still alive, as berths in the CAA tournament are based on conference records.
This weekend, the Huskies travel south to kick off CAA play against the University of North Carolina at Wilmington Seahawks, the No. 22 team in the nation according to the NCAA.
Photo by Brian Bae.