In the heart of the fall season, Northwestern’s teams continue to fight against tough Big Ten and non-conference competition.
Here are updates on some of Northwestern’s non-revenue teams:
Field Hockey (8-5, 3-1 B1G)
Northwestern field hockey began a five-game stretch in the Big Ten this week, which has great implications as the postseason approaches. The 10th-ranked Wildcats entered the week with high hopes of beating No. 6 Michigan despite being shut out in all three matchups against the Wolverines last season. Michigan jumped out to a 3-1 lead at half, but Saar de Breij’s reverse chip in the 49th minute cut the lead to one. Despite a late-game penalty stroke save from Annie Kalfas, last week’s national defensive player of the week, the Wildcats could not find the equalizer and fell 3-2.
The Wildcats quickly bounced back from the loss to Michigan in a decisive 2-0 win over Michigan State, the third shutout in four games. Kalfas had her sixth career shutout backed by a strong defense that did not allow a single shot on goal. Senior Puck Pentenga scored her eighth goal of the season and leads the team in both goals and points (25).
As the regular season winds down, the Wildcats will go on to face tough Big 10 competition, including No. 23 Ohio State, No. 17 Rutgers and No. 3 Maryland before finishing the season with a struggling 1-9 Ball State team.
Volleyball (10-6, 0-4 B1G)
After a strong 10-2 start in non-conference play, the Wildcats have dropped four straight games, all to Big Ten teams. Indiana, No. 16 Purdue, No. 3 Nebraska and Iowa all defeated Northwestern, putting the Wildcats in a difficult position mid-season. Northwestern has not won a single game at home, and while the Wildcats’ non-conference record appears impressive, most of the games were against low-level competition.
The remaining 16 games in Northwestern’s season are all Big Ten games, including top-10 competition like Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois. The Wildcats will face an uphill battle for the remainder of their regular season.
Women’s Soccer (8-2-2, 2-2-1 B1G)
Northwestern women’s soccer started the season strong by going eight straight games without a loss. While they eventually fell 2-0 Minnesota, the Wildcats continued to defeat tough competition and made an argument for why they are the best in the Big Ten. After the most recent coaches’ poll, the Wildcats climbed all the way to No. 17 in the nation and first in the Big Ten.
Last week was a big week for Northwestern with tough conference competition. After a 1-0 loss to Ohio State in overtime, Northwestern responded with a decisive 4-1 win over Michigan. The win over the Wolverines was the first four-goal game since 2016 for Northwestern. Seniors Brenna Lovera, Kayla Sharples and Jenny Haskel and freshman Haley Lawson all contributed goals in the defeat.
The Wildcats will finish their season with seven more Big Ten matchups, which will decide whether they remain on top heading into the tournament at the end of the month.
Men’s Soccer (4-4-2, 0-3-1 B1G)
Like volleyball, the men’s soccer team has yet to find a conference win. Coming into the season, the Wildcats knew the Big Ten competition would be tough. Last week’s losses to No. 2 Indiana and No. 19 Michigan solidified that notion but proved the Wildcats could compete.
The Hoosiers were Northwestern’s toughest competition of the season being both a conference rival and a top-ranked team. Northwestern hung tight down the stretch after a game-tying goal from Matt Moderwell in the second half. In the 87th minute, Indiana’s Griffin Dorsey sealed the win for the Hoosiers, but the Wildcats’ fight was one to be proud of.
While the Wildcats struggled offensively against Michigan, charting only one shot in the first half, they fought back hard in the second half, posing an offensive threat. They could not find the back of the net but put up a tough fight against a top team, falling 2-0.
Northwestern will go on to face No. 20 Notre Dame on Tuesday and will play more tough Big Ten competition in the coming weeks, including No. 5 Michigan State.