Northwestern men’s soccer’s struggles continued last week, falling 3-1 to No. 23 Michigan and 3-0 to No. 17 Maryland and dropping their record to 2-8 (0-5 B1G), tied for last in the Big Ten.
Last Sunday, the ‘Cats traveled to Ann Arbor to take on the Wolverines, who are currently third in the conference. Despite Michigan playing much of the game with just 10 men, they came away with a 3-1 victory while never trailing in the game.
Michigan struck first on a header by Ivo Cerda in the 31st minute, and the Wolverines went a man down shortly after when Francis Atuahene was given a red card for an illegal tackle. Despite the advantage, the ‘Cats went into halftime scoreless, continuing the offensive struggles that have plagued them all season.
Ten minutes after the break, Michigan scored once more when Jackson Ragen scored off a corner kick to give the Wolverines a 2-0 lead. After Ragen’s goal, Northwestern’s defense held strong, but it wasn’t quite enough.
Midfielder Sean Lynch – NU’s leader in points – scored the Wildcats’ only goal off of a beautiful assist from Mattais Tomasino to cut the deficit to one goal, but the ‘Cats were unable to find the net again. Michigan eventually scored their third goal with an empty net in the final minutes of the game after the ‘Cats pulled goalie Robbie White in hopes of tying the game.
Despite the final score, the game showed some signs of promise for Northwestern – the defense and goalie really only gave up two goals since the third was with an empty net, and the ‘Cats actually outshot Michigan 12-11.
Unfortunately, Friday’s contest against Maryland proved even more difficult for NU. The offense failed to get anything going – Northwestern had only two shots (compared to Maryland’s 17), and just one was on goal. White had a career-high 10 saves, but that wasn’t enough to stop the Terps’ potent offensive attack.
A dominant first half for UMD gave them a 2-0 lead going into the break after Sebastian Elney scored a 20th minute goal by rebounding a White save, and Jake Rozhansky scored the Terrapins’ second goal from the top of the box. Maryland punched in their third goal on an Amar Sejdic penalty kick shortly after halftime ended, and the game was essentially running out the clock from there.
A rough week doesn’t get much easier with the ‘Cats playing No. 7 Notre Dame in South Bend on Tuesday night. The schedule gets slightly easier after the Fighting Irish, so NU fans can only hope that the offense will get going when the opponents aren’t as tough.