DEKKALB, Ill. – Devyn Jambga played the hero Saturday night. The senior striker headed home the game-winning goal with 2:18 to play in the first overtime period, giving SIUE a 1-0 win over Northern Illinois in Mid-American Conference play.
SIUE improved to 2-1 in MAC play and 7-7-1 overall. NIU dropped to 0-2-1 in the MAC and 3-9-1 overall.
The guys stayed disciplined," SIUE Head Coach Mario Sanchez said. "I'm proud of our team for staying so disciplined and sticking with the game plan."
Jambga's goal, the ninth game-winner of his career, came off a corner kick from Keegan McHugh. The assist is the third of the year for McHugh.
"For Devyn to get another goal is huge," Sanchez added. "And we finally got a goal off a restart. We have been working relentlessly on restarts. Keegan (McHugh) always delivers a good ball. We've just been working on timing."
The Cougars outshot the Huskies 17-12 for the game, and the goal was the lone shot in the overtime for either team. SIUE managed seven shots on target. Jambga finished the match with four shots, including three on goal.
"We talked to the guys about maintaining good habits," Sanchez said. "As long as we continue to do the little things right, all those little things add up."
SIUE goalkeeper Kyle Dal Santo turned away all three shots on goal from Northern Illinois. The shutout is the second straight for the senior, his sixth this season and the 26th of his career. He is SIUE's all-time leader in shutouts.
"This was another really good shutout for us, and against a good and very organized NIU team," Sanchez said.
The two teams played the final 16 minutes of regulation and all of the overtime period with 10 men a side after SIUE's Jorge Gonzalez and NIU's Sheridan Smith were both ejected after a scuffle near the benches.
The Cougars have just two regular season games remaining, both are MAC contests. SIUE will travel to No. 8 Western Michigan for a 12 p.m. game next Saturday. The Broncos are 3-0 in MAC play and 13-2-1 overall.
"To go on the road to play a top-10 team is a good test," Sanchez said. "I am happy to do it. I like our team and where we are at. We've been preparing for it. It's why we have played the games we have."