The Big Ten conference-only soccer season has proven to be competitive for both Northwestern teams so far, but the women and men remain at 3-2 and 2-2, respectively, after a tough week of play. The women’s team split 1-1 in matchups against Minnesota and Iowa while the men dropped their only game of the week to Ohio State.
NU women’s soccer suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 overtime loss to the Golden Gophers this past Thursday, after meeting Wisconsin four days before. Both NU and Minnesota held strong defensively, as Northwestern broke the silence just one minute before half thanks to a goal from sophomore Rowan Lapi.
The Gophers answered with an equalizer in the 57th minute. Neither team recorded a goal, so the teams were off to six minutes of overtime play. While each team only recorded one shot during overtime, the Gophers were able to convert a goal to come out with a 2-1 victory.
However, the women’s team redeemed itself on Monday on the road against Iowa on the Hawkeye and came out victorious with a 2-0 shutout win. Despite a tie score at the half, the ‘Cats outshot Iowa 7-0, thanks to dominant efforts from senior captain Regan Steigleder, junior Olivia Stone and freshman Josie Aulicino.
Junior goalkeeper Mackenzie Wood recorded her 12th career shutout, adding to her stellar season thus far. Stone and Steigleder each recorded goals, and the ‘Cats move to above .500 again. They will face Purdue in West Lafayette on Saturday before returning back to Evanston for two home matches.
Following the dominant win over No. 7 Indiana, the men’s team earned some well-deserved recognition ahead of this past week’s matchups. Goalkeeper Miha Miskovic was recognized as Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week while sophomore forward Ugo Achara Jr. was named Top Drawer Soccer’s Player of the Week for his three goals and an assist in a two-game span.
It’s about time our guys got some national recognition! Congratulations to @Mihajlo_Miha_1 and @acharajr— Northwestern MSoccer (@NUMensSoccer) March 2, 2021
Miha: 5 saves and a clean sheet to help the Cats secure all three points vs #7 Indiana!
Achara: 3 goals and an assist in two games versus Wisconsin and #7 Indiana! pic.twitter.com/phGEqOWvTQ
Northwestern faced Ohio State in Columbus on Sunday, its first outdoor match of the season.
At the 10-minute mark, Achara recorded the first goal of the game, his fourth goal in the last three games. Freshman Joseph Arena and sophomore Vicente Castro provided the assists.
However, the Buckeyes’ offense caught fire, proving to be too much for Miskovic, as Ohio State followed with three goals to bring the score to 4-1.
The ‘Cats were able to add another goal at the 89-minute mark from Castro but ultimately fell to the Buckeyes 4-2.
Northwestern men’s soccer will head off to East Lansing to match up against the Michigan State Spartans before returning home for games against Wisconsin and Penn State the following week. Those games and the remainder of their abbreviated, 10-game schedule will take place on NU’s home turf, outdoors at Lanny and Sharon Martin Stadium on the lake.