Women's soccer splits final two home games of the year
NU vs. Nebraska by Will Fischer
No. 24 Northwestern dropped a tough match to Nebraska (6-6-2, 2-4-2 B1G) on Thursday night at Toyota Park, falling 1-0 in a disappointing outcome.
Nebraska freshman Caroline Buelt scored in the 15th minute and that was all the Cornhuskers needed on their way to victory. The wind certainly helped Buelt’s long shot to the far upper post and worked against the Wildcats the whole first half. NU, however, had its fair share of chances throughout the entire contest, but could never capitalize.
With just 30 seconds left to play in the game, the ‘Cats were able to draw a penalty kick. Fifth-year senior Niki Sebo stepped up to take it, but the attempt was saved, thwarting NU’s hopes of overtime. Sebo also had a golden chance to equalize in the 72nd minute, but her strike off a set piece sailed just barely over the bar.
Northwestern out shot Nebraska 10 to 7, but the ‘Cats simply couldn’t find the net on Thursday.
The loss was a big blow for Northwestern’s B1G title chances, moving them closer to the middle of the standings. Facing a below-average Nebraska team, the Wildcats were certainly disappointed by their performance.
NU vs. Iowa by Austin Siegel
Revenge. It’s not always pleasant, but when delivered correctly, it can feel pretty damn good.
So when Northwestern’s women’s soccer team demolished Iowa 4-0 on Sunday afternoon, it helped Wildcat fans everywhere feel a little better about what happened at Ryan Field just one day earlier.
Because seriously, this game was a blowout.
Northwestern (11-4-2, 5-3-1 B1G) outshot the Hawkeyes (7-8-1, 1-7-1 B1G) 20-2 and enjoyed their largest margin of victory over a conference opponent in four years. Junior Maria Grygleski, Niki Sebo, Hannah Davison and Addie Steiner found the score sheet for the Wildcats.
The win came on senior day for the women’s team, as they sent off Natalie Cikos, Suzanne Malherbe, Niki Sebo, Margo McGinty, Nandi Mehta, Rachel Bergman and Jennifer Korn with victory in their final home game.
The ‘Cats opened the scoring just before halftime, as Grygleski rattled home a free kick off the left post. It was her second goal of the season and gave Northwestern a slim lead at the half.
But it wouldn’t stay that way for long, as Sebo found the back of the net early in the second half to secure her final goal in the Chicago area. Getting on the end of an Addie Steiner cross, Sebo chipped it home to give the ‘Cats a 2-0 lead.
Freshman Hannah Davison and junior Addie Steiner sealed the blowout with late goals to give Northwestern the 4-0 victory. The Wildcats will take on Illinois and then Wisconsin in their regular season finale before awaiting their first round matchup in the Big Ten tournament. The top eight teams in the conference qualify for the postseason, with the ‘Cats currently sitting in sixth.
Men's soccer drops penultimate home conference game to Rutgers by Jason Mast
Riding three straight victories - two against Yale and Penn - the Big Ten's most high-powered offense trotted to an early lead at Toyota Park and speared a late Northwestern comeback as Rutgers took home a 4-2 victory on Friday.
The ‘Cats had chances early. Just two minutes in, a Rutgers yellow card set up a free Northwestern kick. Freshman Camden Buescher drilled a pass to junior Nathan Dearth, but his attempt flew wide. The Knights took it from there.
Just over a minute after Dearth’s miss, Rutgers’ Drew Morgan knocked in a header off of a corner kick to give them the lead. Then, in the 26th minute, Rutgers took another shot. Senior goalkeeper Zak Allen ran over for the save, but left a wide-open net for another Scarlet Knight forward to drill a goal off the rebound. After halftime, another shot from the top of the circle made it 3-0 with 30 minutes to play.
Northwestern had other opportunities. Captain Joey Calistri drew a free kick with 30 minutes to play, but Rutgers goalkeeper David Greczek guessed correctly and sprung left for the save. After falling behind 3-0, senior Cole Missimo and sophomore Elo Ozumba drilled back-to-back goals in the span of five minutes to bring the ‘Cats within one. But not 90 seconds later, Rutgers’ Jason Wright weaved a shot through two defenders to put the Scarlet Knights permanently out of reach.
With the loss, Northwestern falls under .500 this late in the season for the first time since 2010. The Wildcats are 2-4-1 at home this season after going at 8-1-3 at Lakeside Field in 2014. They haven’t had a losing record at home since 2003.
Meanwhile, Rutgers grabs sole possession of first place in the Big Ten in overall wins, and moves into a tie with Wisconsin for conference record.
The Wildcats have two more games at Toyota Park before they kick the park goodbye for good. Notre Dame comes Tuesday, followed by Michigan State next Sunday.