Women’s Soccer (12-1-1, 5-1-1 B1G)
If there’s one beacon of hope for Northwestern athletics, it’s the women’s soccer team (or the field hockey team, your call). The ‘Cats got their revenge against No. 19 Michigan on Sunday when they beat the Wolverines 2-1. NU lost to Michigan in the B1G Tournament quarterfinals last season, and NU hadn’t won against Michigan since 2011 prior to this game. But now the Wildcats are tied for the No. 1 Big Ten ranking and on pace to have a high seed going into the Big Ten Championships at the end of the month.
Goalkeeper Lauren Clem anchored the defense and was able to keep up with Michigan’s fast paced play. She recorded a career high 11 saves during the game and only allowed a Wolverine penalty kick to make it into the net. Clem’s .912 save percentage shows that she’s among the best keepers in the country, and it will be exciting to watch her face off against other Big Ten teams in the last four games of the regular season.
Both Michele Chernesky and Olivia Korhonen scored against the Wolverines, in the 14th and 48th minutes, respectively. The ‘Cats only had six shots during the whole game, three of which were on goal, but two of those led to scores. After the team’s win against Michigan State on Thursday, head coach Michael Moynihan said that going into their overtime period against the Spartans he urged the players to slow down the offense. It was obvious in this game that the women were more concerned with having accurate shot attempts than lobbing the ball in the general direction of the goal. This type of refined play is a good sign at the end of the regular season.
The ‘Cats travel to Iowa and Nebraska for their next two games, but will be back at Martin Stadium to play Minnesota and Illinois. With the way they’re playing now, the Big Ten Tournament is looking to be an exciting set of games for Northwestern fans.
Men’s Soccer (2-8-1, 1-3-1 B1G)
The men’s team could use some of the momentum that the women have. They travelled to Orlando to play UCF, but lost 1-0, giving the squad their eighth loss of the season.
After a UCF goal in the 73rd minute, the ‘Cats knew they would have to be aggressive in order to stay in the game and have a chance at coming out on top. Goalkeeper Francisco Tomasino held the Knights scoreless after the first goal, but in the 83rd minute he received a red card while stopping a potential second goal.
Because of this penalty Tomasino was ejected from the game and will not play against UIC on Tuesday. Redshirt freshman Braden Thuraisingham was subbed in for Tomasino and is expected to take his spot against UIC this week, as well.
After the UIC game, the Wildcats will head to New Jersey on Friday to square off against Rutgers, who have an overall record of 0-8-2. Things could really only get worse for the men if they give the Scarlet Knights their first win of the season, but a loss against UIC would also take their season from bad to worse.