A first-half goal by Tom Suchecki helped the Northern Kentucky men’s soccer team to a 1-0 win over Belmont on Saturday evening. With the win, the Norse improve to 3-1-1 overall and 1-0-0 in Horizon League play. Belmont suffered its first loss of the season, and the Bruins move to 1-1-2 and 0-1-0 in the league.

“I thought we were excellent from start to finish tonight against a very good opponent,” said NKU head coach Stu Riddle. “We saw some incredible desire from everyone tonight, and that will get us wins in the Horizon League. I’m really pleased with the performance, the result, and our second-straight shutout.”

The Norse took the lead in the ninth minute. Suchecki played a ball into the box, and Rikard Lindqvist was able to track it down. Lindqvist was pulled down in the box, which resulted in an NKU penalty kick. Suckecki converted from the spot to give the Norse the 1-0 advantage.

Jim Barkei made four saves on the night, and his record improves to 3-1-1.

Belmont put pressure on the Norse defense early in the match. Barkei was forced to make three saves within the first 10 minutes of the match.
The Bruins nearly went ahead in the sixth minute, but Dan Brown’s shot was cleared out after a diving save by Barkei.
Belmont’s Creaghan Diekema found himself with a nearly wide open net in the seventh minute, but his shot went high off the frame.
Suchecki’s goal gave the Norse the lead in the ninth minute.
Brown had another great chance to score in the 10th minute, but Barkei was once again able to make the save. Brown also had a header in the 23rd minute, but his attempt went wide right.
NKU nearly extended its lead in the 32nd minute. After a Norse corner kick, Wlademir Babaew and Abdul Kooistra fired shots on frame, but the Belmont defense stood its ground and cleared the ball from the goal line on both attempts.
Belmont had the first chance to score in the second half. Sam Borgel’s volley in the 47th minute was well struck, but Barkei made the save.
In the 56th minute, Harvey Moyes had a volley of his own, but it went just high.
A few minutes later, Suchecki took a shot from the left side of the box, but the Bruins’ Alex Seely made a spectacular save to keep the Norse from doubling their lead.
Suchecki had another golden opportunity in the 63rd minute. A cross came through the box, and Suchecki’s header looked as if it was going to go into the back of the net. However, Seely made another terrific save to prevent Suchecki from scoring his second goal of the match.
In the 78th minute, Adam Voloder found space in the box. He fired a shot, but his attempt just missed to the left to keep the visitors out of the scoring column.
Moyes and Alex Greive recorded shots on goal in the 82nd minute, but Seely made two more great saves.
The Bruins thought they scored the equalizer in the 85th minute, but an offside call nullified the goal.

Belmont’s Alex Seely recorded four saves on the night. Two of his defenders also made saves on the goal line in the 32nd minute, which prevented the Norse from adding to their lead.
NKU took 14 shots, with seven being on target. The Bruins had four of their 12 shots on frame
Suchecki’s goal was his second of the season.

The Norse will host Dayton on Wednesday, Sept. 13. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at NKU Soccer Stadium.


Ryan Wilker
Northern Kentucky University
Athletic Communications Graduate Assistant