Women's soccer shut out by Penn State on Sunday by Jason Mast
A ranking is both a recognition of merit and a bar to live up to, and that bar proved too high for Northwestern on Sunday afternoon. Four days after earning its first national ranking since 2010, No. 24 Northwestern (9-2-2, 3-1-1 B1G) fell to the No. 12 Penn State Lions (8-2-2, 3-1-1 B1G) 3-0, giving the Wildcats their first conference loss of the season.
After unseating undefeated Rutgers last Sunday, Northwestern rolled into Sunday’s matchup on a 6-0-2 hot streak. But the Nittany Lions quickly threw them off course. Penn State senior Mallory Weber took the first shot of the match eight minutes in, and lodged it firmly on the inside of the lower far post. The defense took care of the rest.
The Wildcats were never in control. By the time they got their first shot of the night, 26 minutes in, the Nittany Lions were already up 2-0. By the time they got their second, only five minutes remained in regulation. Sophomore Nandi Mehta authored both, twice finding the open arms of Penn State goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom.
The only other Wildcat to shoot was junior Rachel Zampa, who scored the ‘Cats' only goal in last year’s 4-1 regular season loss to Penn State. This time a Nittany Lion defender blocked her attempt, and Northwestern took home their second shutout loss of the season.
With the loss, the ‘Cats fall to a four-way tie with Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin for second in the Big Ten. They’ll have a shot to knock off one of those schools Thursday night, when they travel to Ann Arbor to tackle the Wolverines.
Men's soccer pulls off road upset of Maryland on Friday by Max Goodman
Northwestern, playing Drake to No. 13 Maryland's Meek Mill, has now pulled off an upset over the Terrapins (4-3-3, 1-1-2 B1G) in #BackToBack seasons after a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory on Friday in College Park.
From the box score, it seemed as though the Terps outplayed the ‘Cats (4-4-1, 2-1-1 B1G), outshooting NU 24-4, putting up 13 corners and keeping possession of the ball in Northwestern territory for the majority of the match. Yet despite these convincing figures, all Maryland had to show was a 78th minute tally from UMD freshman substitute, Jorge Calix, his first goal of the season to put the Terps up 1-0.
Northwestern was down, but certainly not out. The 'Cats' defensive backline – easily the unsung heroes of the contest – was stifling for the entire game, blocking countless shots and keeping their squad within reach. And in the 82nd minute, NU freshman Camden Buescher found the back of the net for the equalizer following a beautifully assisted feed from sophomore teammate Sam Forsgren.
Tied 1-1, the game went into overtime and the ‘Cats had all the momentum. A key substitution in the 94th minute brought junior Getenet Tuji back into the match. He immediately delivered, scoring the deciding goal in the 98th minute to cap off the ‘Cats' victory – a spectacular way to capture his first career collegiate goal. Wildcat star senior Joey Calistri provided Tuji with a pinpoint cross after drawing UMD goalie Cody Niedermeier out of the net – his 10th career assist at Northwestern.
Next up for the Wildcats? The lowly 1-9 DePaul Blue Demons – a game that should keep the ‘Cats' momentum from this upset rolling.