The Northerner | Norse win in dramatic overtime battle against Detroit Mercy

NKU Senior Defender Sam Slocum (2) during the NKU game against Detroit Mercy.

Competing against a conference opponent will always be a tough game. On Saturday, however, the Northern Kentucky men’s soccer team took a narrow win in extra time and defeated Detroit Mercy 1-0 to improve to 5-7 overall and 3-3 in the Horizon League.

NKU midfielder Ben Hegge was tied to zero throughout regular time and was able to make a high shot to the left with the assist of NKU midfielder Kyle Healy only 32 seconds in overtime against Detroit Mercy and thus send his teammates and fans into the game Pandemonium when the Northmen secured victory.

“I ran upstairs, Kyle gave me a great ball and just snipped it in.” said Hegge.

Hegge was able to secure a necessary winning streak of two games in the Horizon League conference by scoring his second goal of the season. His first goal came on October 2, during NKU’s last win against Green Bay away from home in the Horizon League.

“I think it was a necessity,” said head coach Stu Riddle of the win on Saturday. “We needed three points tonight and we need three points again on Wednesday, so it’s a step in the right direction.”

Defense was an important factor in Saturday’s win. The defense of NKU dominated the first half and only allowed one shot on goal. Detroit Mercy finished the game with 12 shots while NKU blocked all three shots on goal.

“Any time you make a bunch of changes to the starting XI it’ll mess things up a little,” Riddle said, comparing the defense from the last game against East Tennessee State to Saturday’s game against Detroit. “You were at your best again tonight.”

NKU allowed 16 shots from the state of East Tennessee. Six of these shots were shots on goal, with the Norse only holding three.

Not only the defensive, but also the offensive was strengthened on Saturday. The Northmen were able to fire 15 shots in the game on Saturday, eight of them on goal.

“We knew that if we could get on the ground and move it, opportunities would open up.” Hegge said about the ball movement in overtime. “They opened up for us there in the end.”

A conference win is always important during the season. Saturday’s game against Detroit Mercy set the Nordic record 3: 3 in their conference and currently lifted them to 6th place.

“It’s huge. It’s huge,” said Hegge about today’s victory. “We needed it so badly to get our season back on track.”

After beating Detroit Mercy, NKU will face next conference opponent IUPUI on Wednesday October 13th.

The game on Wednesday will kick off at 7:00 p.m. in the NKU Soccer Stadium.

For now, the Northmen will try to rest their players.

“We were in Green Bay last week, a few days earlier we were in Chicago. There was a lot of travel, a lot of time on buses. So it’s all about recovery, rehab, and making sure we’re 100 percent fit, ”said Riddle.

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