DeKALB, IL – Toledo concluded its 2013 campaign on a positive note with a 2-1 victory at Northern Illinois on Thursday at rainy NIU Soccer and Track & Field Complex. With the win, the Rockets wrap up the year with a 6-12-1 overall record, 3-7-1 in the Mid-American Conference action.
UT received second-half goals from freshmen Kiersten Johnson and Lauren Taylor to hand the Huskies (6-10-3, 4-5-2 MAC) their first home loss of the season.
"This was a tremendous way to conclude an otherwise difficult season," Toledo Head Coach Brad Evans said. "I was completely confident that this group of players was going to try and do the things great teams do."
Johnson tallied her fourth marker of the year after she received a long pass and caught NIU goalie Riley Riordan out of position at 58:10. The first-year Rocket had a wide open net and calmly deposited a shot into the back of the frame to open the scoring.
Toledo’s lead did not last long, though, as the Huskies Gwen Sabo knotted the score at 1-1 with her first collegiate score at 61:45. Sabo volleyed home an unassisted goal just beyond midfield to draw the teams even.
UT wanted to end its season on a high note, and less than 10 minutes later, Taylor delivered the match-winning score at 70:55. The Frankfort, KY native pushed a shot into the lower corner of the net off a cross from senior Rachel MacLeod to give the visitors a lead they would not relinquish.
"I definitely thought today was a positive sign as we build toward next year," Evans said. "I was really pleased to see Rachel, who played the last couple of weeks at about half speed due to injury, find a way to supply the assist on the match-winning goal. She beat several players and was still able to pick out Lauren. I also thought this was the best Alexis (Tice) has played in the back."
The Midnight Blue & Gold finished with a 6-3 edge in shots and a 5-2 advantage in corner kicks to help snap a four-match winless stretch.
Senior Kelsey Borowitz and sophomore Sam Tiongson split time between the posts and were called upon to make only one save en route to recording the season-ending triumph.
Today’s match marked the final collegiate contest for UT’s six-member senior class (Kelsey Borowitz, Molly Cantwell, Rachel MacLeod, Becky Rhodes, Ashley Ross, Emily Tustin). This group won 42 matches over the last four seasons, including two MAC regular-season titles in 2010 and 2011 and one conference tournament crown in 2011.
TOLEDO 2, Northern Illinois 1
UT: K. Johnson (Unassisted), 58:10
NIU: G. Sabo (Unassisted), 61:45
UT: L. Taylor (R. MacLeod), 70:55
SHOTS: UT 6, NIU 3
CORNER KICKS: UT 5, NIU 2
SAVES: UT 1, NIU 2