Men’s soccer (4-10-1, 2-4-1 B1G)
A huge 2-1 upset against No. 2 Notre Dame in overtime on Tuesday for NU men's soccer was followed up by a disappointing 2-1 loss to No. 20 Michigan State on Saturday.
The match against Notre Dame marked the second consecutive overtime win for the ‘Cats. Sophomore Shannon Seymour had his first career goal toward the end of the 24th minute to put the Wildcats up 1-0. Halfway through the 25th minute, however, the Fighting Irish responded with a goal. With eight minutes left senior Brandon Medina had a free kick opportunity, but his shot went high and the game was forced into overtime. Junior Elo Ozumba’s found senior Mike Roberge with a pass in the 94th minute, and Roberge was able to find the goal and seal the 2-1 upset.
Northwestern had a slow start against the Spartans on Saturday. Through the first half both teams were tied with three shot attempts but no goals. Early in the second half Michigan State scored from six yards out, and they scored another short goal in the 73rd minute. Ozumba answered the Spartan’s second point with a Wildcat goal in the 87th minute, but the clock ran out before NU was able to score again.
Though it was thrilling, the victory against Notre Dame was not a conference win, so it didn’t propel the ‘Cats anywhere in the Big Ten rankings, and they still stand seventh out of nine teams. However, only eight teams make it to the conference tournament, so if the Wildcats can maintain the lead over Michigan and Rutgers, they will be eligible to compete in the postseason.
Women’s soccer (13-1-3, 6-1-3 B1G)
Saturday’s match against No. 13 Minnesota ended in a double overtime scoreless tie, but also marked No. 23 Northwestern’s 13th shutout of the season. The Wildcats set a new program record for single-season shutouts, beating last year’s 12 games.
This was junior goalkeeper Lauren Clem’s 35th career shutout, and she made four saves throughout the game. Clem and the defense have continued to lead the ‘Cats to their victories this season, but with the Big Ten Tournament around the corner, the offense will have to step up in order to push the team through each round.
Northwestern is currently tied with Minnesota and Penn State for first place in the Big Ten, so in order to be on top at the end of the regular season, a win against Illinois on Wednesday will be crucial.
Illinois (6-10-2, 3-5-2) hasn’t been extremely competitive in conference play this year, but did see victories against Michigan, Michigan State and Iowa this month. The Fighting Illini average 12.1 shots a game, but to put that into perspective, NU averages 13.5 and is known for having a defensively-heavy gameplan.
Because of their high seed in the Big Ten, it’s likely that the Wildcats will host the first round of the Big Ten Championship at Martin Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 30. NU is expected to make a deep run in the conference tournament, but is also looking forward to the NCAA Championships afterwards. The ‘Cats have never made it past the third round at the national level, but this year’s team looks promising. However, if they’re going to capture the Big Ten title or have a deep national tournament run, the ‘Cats are going to have to keep up the defense but start being more aggressive on offense, too.