Northeastern claim point in 2OT thriller vs Hofstra


Sadie Parker

The Northeastern Huskies drew against Hofstra 2-2 in overtime, in a closely contested match March 21.

Dov Kaufman, news staff

The Northeastern men’s soccer team (0-3-1, 0-1-1 CAA) drew 2-2 with Hofstra (3-2-1 , 1-0-1 CAA) in a thrilling double overtime contest March 21. 

Nothing separated the sides after 90 minutes, with the score level at two. Both Pride goals came from freshmen, with midfielder Roc Carles scoring in the first half and forward Ryan Carmichael scoring in the second. Husky sophomore forward Timothy Ennin scored his penalty, and a late equalizer from senior forward Dan Munch forced the game into overtime.

Senior Pride forward Matthew Vowinkle came into the game a man on fire, with five goal contributions in his previous two games. Vowinkle operates as a classic do-it-all striker. A goal machine, he has the ability to play with his back to goal and is an underrated creator with the ball at his feet. 

“Vowinkel is such a tough player because everything revolves around him. He’s not the flashiest player in the world, but he does the most important thing which is hard to teach — score goals. We tried to make sure every time the ball was in our box, just to get a body on him. Make it difficult for him. I thought we did a decent job today limiting him, and we’re gonna have to do it all again in a couple weeks when we face him again,” said Northeastern head coach Chris Gbandi after the game.

Northeastern set the tone in the first 10 minutes of the game, looking significantly more energized than the previous slate of matches. Junior forward Benny Klingen looked particularly up for tie. The bruising German looked to get crosses into the box early and did so with success. In the eighth minute of the game, Klingen fizzed a ball into the danger area after a run down the wing. The ball whizzed through the box, and the Huskies were unable to get the touch needed to direct the ball into the back of the net.

Sadie Parker

Hofstra’s opening goal couldn’t have come more against the run of play. The Pride countered with numbers and eventually worked the ball to the edge of the box. Carles closed the move with a tidy finish past NU redshirt freshman Colby Hegarty’s outstretched hand. Northeastern has conceded the first goal in every match thus far.

Despite the strong start, the Huskies looked scrambled after conceding. 

With two minutes left in the first half, Northeastern’s confidence was restored, as Ennin scored a penalty to draw the game level. Junior midfielder Jacob-Marin Thompson slammed a ball that bounced perfectly for him on the edge of the Pride box. The shot was going well over until a Hofstra player stuck his hand up to block the shot. It was a rare stroke of luck for the Huskies, who suddenly entered halftime very much alive and full of confidence.

Northeastern could have easily scored three goals in the first half, but the Huskies’ poor finishing throughout the game really prevented them from claiming all three points.

“It happens; it happens in soccer. You’re playing against another team that has a goalkeeper who is trying to make saves. What I take from it is the amount of opportunities we’re creating. If we continue to create those opportunities, we will be successful. We have so many attacking guys that can beat guys one-v-one and who are crafty. Now, we’re just missing that last piece. We’re gonna continue to work at it and hopefully get it by the end of the season,” Gbandi said.

Northeastern continued to set the tone in the second half. Junior midfielder Omar Da Naia enjoyed a far more adventurous role; the tall fullback pushed forward when the Huskies had the ball, providing the much-needed additional man going forward. Da Naia played a role in the move that saw Klingen go through on goal: the Huskies’ best chance of the match. The Pride goalkeeper was quick to get down, however, denying NU the lead. 

With 15 minutes remaining in the game, Hofstra retook the lead, once again very much against the run of play. The Pride overloaded the box for a rare set piece, and the ball fell kindly for Carmichael, who guided the ball into the back of the net. 

Hofstra had a chance to put the game to bed five minutes later after winning a penalty. However, Vowinkel stepped up to take the penalty and skied it over the bar, giving the Huskies a lifeline to get back into the game. 

Gbandi’s men threw almost every man forward in the final 10 minutes, searching for an equalizer. With four minutes left on the clock, they found it. 

Sadie Parker

Freshman forward Federico Tellez picked up the ball on the far edge of the box and, after an excellent piece of skill, fired a laser across the face of goal. The ball came in quick and required a strong first touch from Munch, who thrashed it into the top right corner from close range, tying the game at two apiece. 

The marquee moment of overtime was a controversial penalty call — a three-way collision between Ennin, a Pride defender and their goalkeeper, resulting in the Huskies being awarded a penalty. All three parties remained on the floor for over a minute. The Hofstra sideline erupted with displeasure as the referee pointed to the penalty spot, clearly upset over the call. It was difficult to tell who initiated the contact, but the referee was well-placed at the time to make the call. Ennin stepped up to take the penalty with a chance to see the Huskies to their first win of the season. Unfortunately, like Vowinkle, Ennin was unable to convert from the spot, with his powerful effort clanking against the crossbar.

“The one they called on us: I thought it was outside the box. The one he called on them: They thought it wasn’t a foul. I think all in all it evened out. Both teams missed their penalties. 2-2 seems like a fair result, a little bit harsh on us,” Gbandi said. “If we complete and finish one of those chances, it’s a game we could have won. If we play this hard, with the intensity and desire, I think there’s no reason we can’t be successful this season.”

Despite walking off the pitch with only a point, the Huskies showcased the arsenal of attacking potential within their squad. 

Northeastern will face Drexel April 4 in the penultimate game of their shortened season.