Women's soccer by Arielle Schwartz
The Northwestern’s women's soccer team (12-4-2, 6-3-1 B1G) beat in-state rival Illinois (9-5-3, 3-4-3 B1G) in Champaign on Saturday afternoon in their penultimate game, 2-0.
The Wildcats had few shots on goal in the first half, and Illinois seemed to have the momentum. However, halfway into the half, junior Addie Steiner came up clean in a one-on-one shot on goal, giving the 'Cats a 1-0 lead.
In the second half, junior Niki Sebo scored a second goal for the 'Cats, giving the team some breathing room before pulling off the victory.
Although Illinois outshot Northwestern 17-12, goalkeeper Lauren Clem was a stone wall, making seven saves. Clem tied her season best for saves in a game.
The 'Cats will go on to face the Wisconsin Badgers in a tough matchup in their final regular season matchup on Wednesday.
Men's soccer by Tim Hackett
After Northwestern (6-6-2, 2-3-0 B1G) settled for a 1-1 draw against Notre Dame on Tuesday, the Wildcats looked destined for their second straight overtime match, as their conference clash with Michigan State (7-6-2, 2-2-2 B1G) on Saturday remained tied at 0 for 89 minutes. That’s when Mike Roberge stepped in. With just over a minute to play in the contest, the junior forward netted his second goal of the season to give the ‘Cats a lead in the last minute. Roberge was set up by Henry Herrill and Camden Buescher, and the goal came off of a set piece that was awarded after a Spartan foul.
Though Roberge, who had just been subbed into the match in place of his younger brother Jake, will get credit for giving his team the win, the only reason Northwestern were in a position to win was due to the incredible play of goalkeeper Zak Allen. The senior shotstopper had only his second clean sheet of the season, the fewest in the Big Ten, but he had to work hard for it.
Through his 14 games played, Allen has had to make the most saves of any conference keeper, and the figures aren’t close. After his stellar seven-save performance against the Spartans, Allen’s save total on the season shot up to 71, an average of 5.07 saves per game. The next closest keeper is averaging 3.5. Allen’s 0.780 save percentage is also good for third in the conference. Allen has kept his team in many games this year; with an offense that only averages 1.07 goals and 8.9 shots per game, he’s had to.
Allen celebrated Senior Day with his third-highest save total of the year; his highest came on Tuesday when he posted 12 saves to keep the match against Notre Dame even. Northwestern tallied only two shots on goal in that match. The clean sheet could also serve as a confidence boost for the netminder, who, despite all the saves, hadn’t held an opponent scoreless since a 1-0 win over UCF in which he had to make four saves.
The victory moves Northwestern into a tie for third in the conference with Rutgers, though the Scarlet Knights would hold the tiebreaker thanks to a convincing 4-2 win about a week ago. Michigan State fell to sixth in the conference. Northwestern closes the campaign with three road matches, travelling down the road to Loyola on Tuesday before taking on Penn State and Wisconsin, two conference opponents currently below the Wildcats in the standings.