McCarty scores pair of dramtic goals, Northern Illinois surprises Northwestern 2-1 in OT.
| Northern Illinois forward Marcus McCarty (right) celebrates his game-winning goal over No. 10 Northwestern with teammates Steve Algozino (left) and Drew Jeskey.
-- Northern Illinois University photo --
DEKALB, Ill. (Wednesday, October 24, 2007) -- Senior striker Marcus McCarty scored two dramatic goals, the first to force overtime with a minute remaining and the game-winner in sudden death, sending Northern Illinois a 2-1 triumph over No. 10 Northwestern before 148 who witnessed the non-conference match at Huskie Soccer Field tonight.
"This shows that with the top-ranked teams in the country, we can win," said NIU coach Steve Simmons, whose Huskies are 5-6-4 after defeating NU for the first time since 2000. "Northwestern is a fantastic team. They're in the thick of it to win the Big Ten, so for us to do that shows resiliency and the fact that we continue to believe."
Early in the second and final 10-minute overtime period, sophomore midfielder Josh Karsten headed a corner kick on goal. With junior goalkeeper Will Briley deflecting the shot off the crossbar, the ball lofted high into the air. Sophomore defender Drew Jeskey elevated and nodded the ball to McCarty, who converted his team-leading fifth goal from six yards out for the thrilling 2-1 final at 101:44.
"Maybe this is one of those defining moments going into the last three games of the year," Simmons said.
McCarty, a player with nine career game-winning goals, put away a long cross from reserve senior forward Chris Johnson with 1:29 remaining in regulation for a 1-1 tie. Senior defender Blake Gotkowski was credited with the secondary assist.
"That was a classic Marcus McCarty goal, where he gets in there, hooks himself and pounds it," Simmons said.
Northwestern (9-3-2) went ahead 1-0 when senior defender Matt Witt converted a corner kick from senior midfielder David Roth for the second goal of his season and career with 62:36 elapsed.
NIU posted a 20-9 advantage in shots -- 4-0 in overtime -- with McCarty recording a match-high six shots, five on frame. Junior Joe Zimka made three saves in goal to earn the victory, while Briley made eight saves for the Wildcats.
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