Women’s Soccer (13-1-2, 6-1-2 B1G)
The Wildcats are ranked No. 25 in the nation and tied for second in the Big Ten after defeating Iowa 1-0 and holding Nebraska to a scoreless tie in double overtime.
Thursday’s victory in Iowa City was NU’s third consecutive conference win, and Sunday’s Nebraska match marked the 12th game of the season where they held their opponents scoreless. Junior goalkeeper Lauren Clem has only allowed five goals over a total of 16 games and hasn’t been scored on one time so far this month.
During the Iowa game, the Hawkeyes came out strong, getting the first three shots off and challenging Clem in the net in the process. In the 29th minute sophomore Kayla Sharples had a header shot attempt that went just high of the goal, but after the ‘Cats were able to control offensive possession. NU got a few more shots off during the first period, but going into halftime the game was still scoreless.
It wasn’t until the 56th minute, when junior Nikia Smith had a cross to the middle, that junior Kim Jerantowski was able to find and head into the goal. The Wildcats went up 1-0 and continued to defend their half of the field through the second period to beat Iowa by a goal.
The game in Lincoln started off in a fashion that resembled the Iowa game, with the Huskers dominating possession. Nebraska got off seven shots in the first 34 minutes of play, but all of the balls either missed the net or were stopped by Clem. The ‘Cats had their best scoring opportunity when sophomore Marisa Viggiano took a shot in the 39th minute, but it was saved by Nebraska’s freshman keeper Aubrei Corder.
NU’s defense put up a hard fight, holding Nebraska to seven shots during the second half and both overtimes combined. While there wasn’t any scoring during the 110 minutes of soccer that were played, Northwestern gained more experience defending their backfield outside of regulation time, which could prove to be an asset in the Big Ten tournament.
The ‘Cats only have two regular season games left: first they face off against No. 21 Minnesota (12-3-2, 6-1-2) and they close the season against Illinois (6-10-1, 3-5-1), both at home. Minnesota leads the Big Ten in shots, goals and assists, so the Gophers’ fast-paced offense will be a great test for the defense that has anchored the Northwestern team this season.
Men’s Soccer (3-9-1, 2-3-1 B1G)
After losing three games in a row, NU was able to defeat Rutgers 2-1 in overtime on Friday.
Play was back and forth at the start of the game, but the Scarlet Knights were the first to score. After their goal in the 23rd minute, Rutgers led the Wildcats for a majority of the game, but with three minutes left senior Brandon Medina got Northwestern on the scoreboard. His long shot came from the top of the 18-yard box and kept the ‘Cats in the game, forcing Rutgers into overtime when they couldn’t respond in the final minutes of regular time.
During the 99th minute, freshman Mattias Tomasino scored not only the game-winning golden goal, but his first goal of the season. He received an assist from sophomore Camden Beuscher, who crossed the ball from one side of the field to the other, and then drilled it into the far corner of the goal from six yards out.
Wildcat goalkeeper junior Francisco Tomasino was back in goal after sitting out games at UIC and UCF due to a red card. He made three saves against the Scarlet Knights and played the entire game, but penalty cards are continuing to be a problem for the Wildcats. Four players – Willis Griffith, Jeffrey Hopson, Elo Ozumba and Beuscher – received yellow cards in the Rutgers game and will need to be cautious in their next game.
On Tuesday the ‘Cats host Notre Dame, but the game will be played at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, where the MLS Chicago Fire play. Notre Dame is 10-2-1 on the season and the team is holding its ground in the ACC. While Tuesday’s game isn’t an in-conference matchup, it will still be a challenging match for the ‘Cats.