Northwestern’s Chris Ritter scored a goal in the 57th minute to defeat Northern Illinois men’s soccer, 1-0. The goal came after an NIU foul at midfield.

The Wildcats’ Scott Lakin took the free kick, found Ritter in the box and his header went in off the post.

No. 14 Northwestern improved to 8-3 with the win, while NIU falls to 3-8.

“We are disappointed in the result, we are always disappointed if we don’t get a result, no matter who we play,” NIU head coach Eric Luzzi said in a news release. “Northwestern is a legit top-15 team in the country and I thought, for large stretches of the game, we were on the front foot, had the better of the play. On the whole, we created the better of the chances.

Huskies freshman goalkeeper Mike Pavliga made his first career appearance and finished with six saves. NIU plays at Bowling Green at 6 p.m. Saturday.