On Saturday, September 17, the Northwestern men’s soccer team bested Briar Cliff 2 – 0 on the home pitch for the first time since 2018. So far this season, the Raider men are 5-1-1 overall and 1-0 in GPAC play; the Chargers are 4-5 overall and 2-1 in GPAC play.
Wearing their “Where’s Waldo” kits, the Raider men competed in a very physical match that resulted in 11 yellow cards and one red card as a result of a second yellow to the same player.
The first goal came in the 16th minute of play. A cross in the box created a mess for the Briar Cliff keeper. Junior James Bolger headed the ball towards the net and senior Juan Mackrey finished it into the goal. Mackrey has scored five goals so far this season and is the leading scorer for the men.
Just 15 minutes later, NW found another goal after a Briar Cliff turnover was intercepted by sophomore Tim Kaltenberger. Kaltenberger sent through to freshman Niklas Fitter who shot it near post with his weak foot to score his first goal of the season.
In the 34th minute, a Briar Cliff defender fouled one of our players in the box, resulting in a penalty kick. Sophomore Marco Alessio stepped up, shot and missed, leaving the score at 2-0.
In the 50th minute, Briar Cliff also had a chance from the penalty kick spot after a shove from behind by a NW defender. The shooter put the ball to junior goalkeeper Ezekiel Foltz’ left, which he easily parried away and got up in time to make the second save – sending it out for a Charger corner.
“I didn’t exactly know where he was going until the last second,” Foltz commented. “I waited for him to approach the ball, read his hips and dove at the last second.”
Foltz is credited with six saves to complete the shutout on Saturday night. In result of the match, Foltz not only received GPAC week honors for the second time around but NAIA defensive player of the week as well.
The men faced the Morningside Mustangs, Wednesday, Sept. 22nd and beat the no. 22 ranked team in overtime 2-1. Looking ahead to the rest of the season on the follow Saturday, Sept 25th the men will take on Concordia also at home at 3:15pm.