Nov. 11, 2004
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - John Carlstedt scored the game winning goal 3:38 into the first overtime to give the third seed Northwestern a 1-0 win over the sixth seed, Penn State, in the first round of the Big Ten Conference Men's Soccer Tournament here Thursday (Nov. 11).
Northwestern advances to play the winner of Thursday's third opening round game between the second seeded Ohio State Buckeyes and the seventh seed and host school, Michigan. The win also improves the Wildcats record to 13-4-2 while the Nittany Lions fall to 10-4-7 on the 2004 campaign.
On October 8th the two teams faced off in their only contest of the regular season. Northwestern held a 2-0 edge heading into the final minute of regulation when Penn State scored twice in 44 seconds to send the game into overtime where it ended in a tie. In that game NU's Kevin Earnest tallied both goals for the Wildcats. The junior midfielder picked up where he left off on Thursday, notching the only shot-on-goal of the first half for either team.
The first half of action proved that these teams remained evenly matched. While each team had its fair share of scoring opportunities, neither squad was able to find the back of the net, sending the game into halftime scoreless.
Penn State took five corners in the opening half, but was unable to penetrate the Northwestern defense on any of the opportunities. In contrast, NU didn't log its first corner opportunity until early in the second half.
Physical play continued throughout the second half. Penn State logged three shots-on-goal while Northwestern added two attempts at the net. However, neither team was able to beat Justin Pines or Conrad Taylor, the goalkeepers for Northwestern and Penn State respectively, and the game advanced to overtime.
Both teams were comfortable with playing over 90 minutes in matches this season. The Nittany Lions were undefeated in overtime during the regular season at 4-0-7 in bonus action, while the Wildcats saw overtime play in seven games going 3-2-2.
It didn't take long though for the match to be decided once the extra period began. With 3:38 off the clock in the first overtime John Carlstedt fired a ball into the back of the net for the game winning goal. The goal was the sophomore midfielder's fourth of the season and second game winner and the first the Penn State net minder Taylor allowed in over 230 minutes.
The Wildcats 1-0 win puts them into the semifinals on Friday (Nov. 12) versus the winner of Michigan and Ohio States' match up. The game is set for 2:30 pm ET at the U-M Soccer Field on the campus of the University of Michigan.