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OMAHA, Neb. -- The Northern Illinois University men's soccer team was edged, 2-1, in the final minute of its exhibition against Creighton on Saturday night at Morrison Stadium. Senior Kevin Rodriguez (Pasadena, Texas/Deer Park) evened the contest for the Huskies in the 88th minute, only to see NIU concede the game-winner in the final minute. 

"Disappointed with the performance in the first half," said NIU head coach Ryan Swan. "It didn't look like we were quite ready for the intensity and speed that Creighton brought to us, so it was a little disappointing that we didn't respond to that. The second half was much improved, we were much more assertive, had the ball and created some chances.

"It was disappointing to lose the game but we got a look at more guys and at guys in different positions, so we are happy with what we found and feel good about starting the season with this team."

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The Bluejays broke the deadlock just a minute before halftime. Sven Koenig scored the opening goal in the 44th minute off a feed from Daniel Espeleta to give Creighton a 1-0 lead that it would take into halftime. 

NIU played Creighton even throughout the second 45 minutes and got its reward in the 88th minute as Rodriguez leveled the match for the Huskies on a deflected shot that found the back of the net for the Huskies. 

The match was level for just 69 seconds before Creighton found a game-winner through Anthony Macchione. The Bluejays goal, assisted on by Tor Trosten, came in the 90th minute, just 54 seconds from full time, to give the Big East side a 2-1 victory. 

Junior Christoph Köninger (Achern, Germany/Gymnasium Achern) started between the posts for the Huskies, making three saves in the opening 45 minutes. Junior Konrad Dziedzic (Schiller Park, Ill./West Virginia) came on to play the second 45 in goal, making a pair of saves. 

NIU will begin the 2018 regular season with four consecutive games away from home, beginning on Friday night, Aug. 24, at Cincinnati. Game time against the Bearcats is scheduled for 5 p.m.
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