Huskies ride hot first half to 3-3 draw vs. No. 16 JMU

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Huskies ride hot first half to 3-3 draw vs. No. 16 JMU

Sophomore forward Benjamin Klingen handles the ball in a match against Charleston College.

Sophomore forward Benjamin Klingen handles the ball in a match against Charleston College.

Albert Tamura

Sophomore forward Benjamin Klingen handles the ball in a match against Charleston College.

Albert Tamura

Albert Tamura

Sophomore forward Benjamin Klingen handles the ball in a match against Charleston College.

Finn Fielding, news correspondent

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The Huskies were finally able to rekindle their early-season offensive swagger this weekend, as Northeastern scored three first-half goals in a 3-3 draw at home against No. 16 James Madison.

The Huskies (5-3-3, 2-1-2 CAA) came out blazing on offense Saturday afternoon at Parsons Field against a James Madison (8-2-1, 3-0-1 CAA) team that had only conceded one goal in their last six contests. 

The first to get in on the scoring was striker Timothy Ennin, who slotted away a penalty kick in the 19th minute to give Northeastern the early lead. This marked the redshirt freshman’s third score from the penalty spot this season, and fourth overall goal on the year.

Excellent performances from the Huskies’ midfield and front line continued through the first half, with NU breaking through again in the 35th minute off a wonderful strike from forward Benjamin Klingen. Redshirt senior midfielder Grant Elgin played a well-timed through ball down the left side to a streaking Ennin, who found Klingen with a cross and enabled the sophomore to put home his fourth goal of the season.

Even with a 2-0 lead, the Huskies offense kept coming at the Dukes for the remainder of the half. In the final minute, they were again able to find the back of the net, this time off the foot of sophomore striker Ryan Massoud, who took a cross and collided with JMU goalkeeper TJ Bush, but not before scooting the ball past him and in. Massoud benefitted from a great cross from freshman teammate Liam Murphy, who was coming off his own impressive scoring performance against Hartford last week.

Unfortunately for the Huskies, a mere 15 seconds later JMU was able to push into their penalty box and draw a foul, winning a penalty kick. Senior striker Manuel Ferriol capitalized on the chance, bringing the score to 3-1 before the close of the first half. It was not surprising that the first and last goal of the half came as a result of PKs, as this match was as aggressive as they come. The squads amassed nearly 20 fouls and picked up an astounding 10 yellow cards (four in the first half).

The second half was all JMU, as the Dukes finally fired up the offense that was fairly dormant in the first half. On the other hand, the Huskies did not generate much offense in the second, with only four shots to JMU’s 15.

The first of two second-half goals for the Dukes came in the 63rd minute, as striker Jeremy Jaquier put one past NU’s keeper Noah Abrams. JMU’s shots continued to mount and finally proved too much for Northeastern’s defense in the 84th minute, as Ferriol scored again to pull the score level at 3-3, where it would stay for the remainder of regulation.

As the game entered overtime, it was more of the same, with JMU’s offense outpacing the Huskies (five shots to one in the first overtime period). 

This time, however, Northeastern was able to hold on. Abrams kept the game alive in the 108th minute with a fantastic diving stop (his career-high seventh save of the night) to keep the Dukes out of the net and end the game at 3-3.

The Huskies move to 5-3-3 with their second straight draw after tying Hartford 1-1 last Tuesday. However, the offensive performance in this match was much more encouraging, as the Huskies struggled to score in their previous few contests. 

This three-goal burst is just what the team needed against a nationally-ranked James Madison team and provided NU with a well-earned point in CAA play. The Huskies will look to secure their sixth win of the season at Boston College (6-2-2) this Tuesday.