Men’s soccer team defeats Lewis 2-0

As the Northern Kentucky University men’s soccer family said goodbye to goalie Nate Madden on senior day, they said hello to a possible future Norse star in freshman midfielder Kyle Roberts.

Roberts scored both goals in the team’s 2-0 win over Lewis University Oct. 23 at Town ‘ Country Sports Complex in Wilder.

“This was a huge win for us in terms of regional implications,” Head Coach John Basalyga said. “We beat a team that was nationally ranked, and that only helps us with a good seed in the tournament.”

Lewis was ranked ninth nationally in the latest NCAA Division II poll and has been ranked as high as second in the Great Lakes Region.

Defense was key once again for the Norse. They held the Flyers to just four shots for the entire contest. Lewis did not attempt a shot in the first half as NKU controlled the tempo.

This was NKU’s 11th shutout of the season and tenth at home.

“We played awesome defense today to win,”?Madden said. “We just have to keep working hard and stay focused down the stretch.”

Roberts gave NKU the lead 1-0, with his second goal of the season, at the 27 minute of the first half when he finished off a cross from fellow freshman Dan Impellizzeri.

“I just picked it off and saw I had a tone of space in the middle to drive,” said Roberts.

The second goal by Roberts sealed the game for the Norse. The shot came in the second half with an assist by freshman Tony Capurro.

“I was lucky to get that goal,”?Roberts said. “I was in the right place at the right time, the ball just seemed to bounce to me for a shot.”

The Norse improved to 12-3-2 overall and 6-2-1 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, while Lewis fell to 13-2-2 overall and 6-2-2 in the conference.

It is the second consecutive win for NKU after losing 2-0 to Truman State Oct. 17.

Earlier this week, the Norse defeated Oakland City 4-0 with two goals from Thompson and one each from Matt Flick and David Lies.

Madden, the lone senior for the Norse, picked up his 11th shutout of the year. His goals-against average stands a 0.32 for the season.

Playing his final regular season game at home was an unforgettable experience for the player who has been starting at goalie almost exclusively since his first season.

“It’s awesome to win any game – especially senior day,”?Madden said. “We really came ready to play in all areas (of the game) today,” Madden said.

Basalyga said. “I am happy for Nate. Being the only senior from his class to make it this far shows a lot about who he is as a person.

“He is one of the top goalkeepers in the country, and I am real happy he was able to finish his career on a high note.”

NKU can wrap up a first round home game in the GLVC Tournament with a victory at the University of Indianapolis on Oct. 27. The Norse are currently in third place in the league standings.

“We have to finish strong the last two games of the season and give us an opportunity for the possible seed in the tournament,” said Basalyga.

The three and four seeds will host first round games, while one and two seeds will have first round byes.

The win on Saturday put NKU percentage points ahead of Lewis in the conference standings.

NKU will conclude the regular season with road games at Indianapolis and a non-conference game with Gannon University Oct. 29.