The Northerner

Norse fall to FC Cincinnati in spring exhibition match

Kevin Carey, Assistant Sports Editor

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Alex Greive (7) fights to take a ball away from a FC Cincinnati player.

The Norse opened up their spring season with a 3-0 loss to FC Cincinnati Tuesday Night at the NKU Soccer Stadium. FC Cincinnati is coming off a trip to the semifinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup last season and a trip to the USL playoffs in the previous two. The last time these two teams met was on Aug. 16, 2017 when the Norse tied with the reserve team 1-1.

Head coach Stu Riddle said although he is disappointed as a competitor how his team performed by the numbers, it was about what he expected after not playing for a few months.

“It was about what we expected. The reality is that we haven’t played since mid-November and being limited to the time we have been able to get outside,” Riddle said. “Then we come up against a team that is stacked with top professional players that have been in camp for six weeks.”

In the first half of play, FC Cincinnati grabbed two goals off three shots on goal. The first goal came in at the 11:28 mark when Tomi Ameobi scored on FCC’s first shot on goal of the game from a cross by Daniel Haber.

FCC found the back of the net again at the 34:11 mark after a corner kick from Daniel Haber was headed in by Dekel Keinan.

The Norse closed the half with one shot on goal by sophomore Harvey Moyes. NKU was also able to hold FCC to only seven shots in the first half.

There was a scary moment at the 30 minute mark when FCC’s Sem de Wit and NKU senior Bastian Beckers bumped heads and went down. Both men were able to get up and walk off under their own power.

In the second half, action started out slow for the first few minutes with no team shooting on goal. FCC changed out all 11 players at the 61 minute.

Action didn’t pick up until the 68 minute when FCC shot four shots on goal in the course of five minutes, with one finding the back of the net at the 73 minute by Forrest Lasso. Barkei had another great save off a ricocheted ball during that span.

Riddle said there were positives throughout the game as well as served a great learning experience for his team.

“I thought the first 15 minutes of the first half was our best patch of the game. We challenged the guys at halftime to show some more fight and that was what we got in the second half early on,” Riddle said.

Barkei said this game was great to play and a great opponent to open up the spring season.

“To play these guys, a top quality USL team was a great experience. I thought we played very well,” Barkei said.

The Norse could only muster up one shot the entire game whereas FC Cincinnati shot 25 and put eight on goal. Barkei for the Norse was named the Horizon Goalkeeper of the Year in 2017 allowing 0.84 goals per game with eight shutouts last season. He allowed three goals and saved four in the losing effort.

The Norse will host the defending USL champions Louisville City FC on Friday, March 3 at 1 p.m. Live stats will be available for the game at nkunorse.com.

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Norse fall to FC Cincinnati in spring exhibition match