Kentucky, Northern Illinois Advance to MAC Men's Soccer Title Match

Updated 11/7/1999
DeKALB, IL (November 7) -- Second-seeded Kentucky and No. 6 seed Northern Illinois posted semifinal-round victories to reach the championship showdown of the 1999 Best Western Mid-American Conference men's soccer championship tournament.

Kentucky dispatched eighth-seeded Western Michigan 3-0 whileNorthern Illinois held on to defeat No. 4 seed Marshall 2-1. As aresult, the Huskies and Wildcats meet this Friday (Nov. 12) in Lexington, KY. The conference's automatic NCAA tournament berth goesto the winner of the 7:30 p.m. contest.

Giovanni Fernandes put UK on the board at the 12:59 mark,putting Jason Bell's pass into the net behind Bronconetminder Eric Pogue from five yards out.

Before Fernandes' goal, WMUnarrowly missed scoring at the other end and Kentucky used a quickcounterattack to gain the 1-0 advantage. The lead grew to 2-0 whenChris McAlpine intercepted a Western Michigan pass and fed Bell for a14-yard blast into the corner of the net.

Chris McDaniel closed the scoring at the 49:59 mark after adefensive miscue led to his five-yard volley into the top of the net. UK's defense smothered the Broncos, allowing only six shots. BrianO'Leary made two saves for his team's seventh shutout of the season. The Wildcats improved to 12-6-1 while WMU closes the season at2-15-3.

Northern Illinois' Dan Parisi had a goal and an assist in theother semifinal. He put the Huskies up 1-0 at the 23:50 mark byheading home Jeff Ryder's crossing pass. Robby Berkley started theplay with a long ball, finding Ryder down the right sideline. Parisi's goal was his conference-leading 15th of the season.

Marshall answered less than four minutes later when DaveSpauling connected from 12 yards out. Jeremy Albrecht slipped betweentwo Huskie defenders to set up Spaulding's tally at the 27:13 mark. But Northern Illinois surged back in front at 39:27 when Andrew Contislipped a 14-yarder under Thundering Herd goalkeeper Taly Goode. Parisi's feed started a two-on-one break, which resulted in thedeciding tally.

NIU out-shot the Herd 23-12 but relied on its defense tosustain the 2-1 margin. Freshman Rasih Pala made three saves to postthe victory, the Huskies' fifth in a row. Northern Illinois climbedto 12-8-0 on the season while Marshall finishes at 9-11-1.

Kentucky is in the MAC championship for the first time since1996, when the Wildcats lost 4-0 at Bowling Green. UK reached thesemifinals in each of the past two seasons. Northern Illinois is inthe MAC title contest for the first time, having lost in the quarterfinals in each of its first two campaigns back in theconference. The Huskies last played for a league championship in 1989when they were affiliated with the now-defunct Big Central Soccer Conference. 1999

SUNDAY'S (NOV. 7) SEMIFINAL MATCHES

Kentucky 3, Western Michigan 0
Northern Illinois 2, Marshall 1

FRIDAY'S (NOV. 12) CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Northern Illinois at Kentucky
7:30 p.m.

FINAL SCORE: (No. 2 seed) KENTUCKY 3, (No. 8 seed) WESTERN MICHIGAN 0

Score-by-Halves:        1st             2nd             Final 
Western Michigan        0       -       0       -       0                       
 WMU is now 2-15-3 on the season 
Kentucky                2       -       1       -       3                       
UK is now 12-6-1 on the season 

Scoring Summary:
UK --- Giovanni Fernandes (Jason Bell assist), five-yarder from leftpost on 
counterattack, 12:59 Gone, 1st Half.UK --- Jason Bell (Chris McAlpine assist), 14-yarder 
from center offsteal at midfield, 23:38 Gone, 1st Half.UK --- Chris McDaniel (Unassisted), 
five-yard volley from centerafter defensive misplay, 49:59 Gone, 
2nd Half.

Statistical Summary:
    Overall Shots:  Shots on Goal:  Corner Kicks:   
WMU     2       -       4       -       6                       
WMU     1       -       1       -       2                       
WMU     3       -       1       -       4                       
WMU     0       -       1       -       1

UK      9       -       3       -       12              
UK      3       -       1       -       4                       
UK      2       -       1       -       3                       
UK      2       -       2       -       4

Fouls:  Goalie(s)  {Defensive} Saves:

WMU     8       -       5       -       13              
WMU (EricPogue)  0 (1)   -       0       -       0               
(Time: 90:00,Goals Allowed: 3)

UK      9       -       8       -       17              
UK (BrianO'Leary)       1       -       1       -       2                       
(Time:90:00, Goals Allowed: 0)

FINAL SCORE:  (No. 6 seed) NORTHERN ILLINOIS 2, (No. 4 seed) MARSHALL 1 

Score-by-Halves:        1st             2nd             Final 
NorthernIllinois        2       -       0       -       2                        
NIU is now 12-8-0 on the season 
Marshall                1       -       0       -       1                       
MU is now 9-11-1 on the season 

Scoring Summary:
NIU --- Dan Parisi (Jason Ryder, Robby Berkley assists), five-yardheader off crossing pass, 
23:50 Gone, 1st Half.MU --- Dave Spaulding (Jeremy Albrecht assist), 12-yarder in center,27:13 
Gone, 1st Half.NIU --- Andrew Conti (Dan Parisi assist), 14-yarder from left ofcenter off 2-on-1 
break, 39:27 Gone, 1st Half.

Statistical Summary:
Overall Shots:  Shots on Goal:  Corner Kicks:   Offsides:
NIU     14      -       9       -       23              
NIU     7       -       2       -       9                       
NIU     2       -       1       -       3                       
NIU     2       -       0       -       2

MU      5       -       7       -       12              
MU      2       -       2       -       4                       
MU      3       -       3       -       6                       
MU      0       -       0       -       0

Fouls:  Goalie(s)  {Defensive} Saves:
NIU               14      -       9       -       23              
NIU (RasihPala)   1       -       2       -       3                       
(Time:90:00, Goals Allowed: 1)

MU              9       -       13      -       23              
MU (TalyGoode)  5       -       2       -       7                       
(Time:90:00, Goals Allowed: 2)

FRIDAY'S QUARTERFINAL RESULTS(No. 1 seed) Akron 1, (No. 8 seed) Western Michigan 2

(No. 2 seed) Kentucky 1, (No.7 seed) Eastern Michigan 0
(No. 6 seed) Northern Illinois 4, (No. 3 seed) Bowling Green 2
(No. 4 seed) Marshall 2, (No. 5 seed) Buffalo 1