Sept. 19, 2008
Evanston, IL - LMU's quest to knock off another ranked foe fell short as Drew Ratner scored seven minutes from time to lift #9 Northwestern to a 1-0 win in front of 1262 fans Friday night at Lakeside Field in Evanston, IL. The Lions (1-2-2) open their first road trip of the season with their second straight defeat while the Wildcats (6-0-1) remain unbeaten.
Northwestern had the livelier start, putting two shots on the LMU goal in the game's first three minutes. The second of those shots, a header by Matt Eliason, nearly opened the scoring but it rebounded off the post. Neither team had much of the play on the offensive end after that, however, until the final seven minutes of the first half when the Lions managed to get forward for a pair of corners and shots by a trio of freshmen. Freshman Fernando Barba started the string with a shot that went high. That was followed shortly by freshman Roger Downes' wide header. Just before halftime, freshman Alex Greenman rose for a header but could not keep it down as the teams went into the half level at 0-0.
Both teams attempted four shots in the first half but neither goalkeeper was called into action for a save. That changed right out of halftime as Barba immediately tested the Wildcat defense in the first minute. His shot beat NU goalie Misha Rosenthal but was cleared by Drew Ratner before it could reach the net. Less than a minute later, LMU junior keeper Patrick Sampson got in on the act, stopping a header from Peter O'Neill.
After denying the Lions the opening goal with his head, Ratner used it on the offensive end to decide the match. With the game looking like it would head to overtime, Ratner emerged for the game-winner seven minutes from time. Northwestern won a corner kick, which Piero Bellizzi lofted into the area, where Ratner headed home for the game's lone goal.
For the rest of the way, the Lion offense was unable to breach Northwestern's defense, which has allowed only one goal all year. Rosenthal made one save for NU while Sampson stopped three for the Lions.
The Lions remain in the Windy City until Sunday, when they close out their six-game stretch against top-25 opponents. LMU visits #11 Illinois-Chicago for a contest that has been moved up to noon Pacific time.
- GO LIONS -