Lauren Koehl and Kelli Zickert each netted a goal Saturday night in Waterloo, Iowa to lead the Illinois State women’s soccer team to a shutout win over Northern Iowa, 2-0. The victory was the second straight for ISU in Missouri Valley Conference play.

The Redbirds’ offense was alive and well Saturday night, recording 21 shots, with 11 of them on goal.

Lauren Koehl got things started early when she capitalized on a pass from Ali Farkos to the top of the box in the 6th minute. Koehl has had a remarkable season, it was the redshirt junior’s fifth goal of the season and third in Valley competition. The assist by Farkos, a senior, was her fourth of the year. The ‘Birds dominated defensively for the remainder of the first half, as the Panthers didn’t record a shot-on-goal.

An early flurry from Northern Iowa was dispelled by the Redbird defense. Shortly after in the 60th minute, Kelli Zickert scored her second goal of the season and gave ISU a 2-0 lead. The sophomore forward navigated her way down the right side of the box and fired a shot to the far-side post.

The ’Birds were able to keep the 2-0 lead the rest of the way and move their record to 5-7-2 and 2-1 in the MVC.

Zickert lead the Redbirds with seven shots, Koehl had four. Vanessa Niestrom was hardly bothered in the net as the Darien native had two saves for the Redbirds. Niestrom’s counterpart, Whitney Blunt, had a busy night and tallied nine saves for UNI.

The win puts the Redbirds in a tie for second place in the MVC with Missouri State. ISU will visit the Bears next Saturday in Springfield, Mo.

Joe Rodewald is a sophomore sports reporter at The Vidette. He can be reached by email at jrodew@ilstu.edu and found on Twitter @joerodewald7.

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