Are you upset about Northwestern football? Do you wish you had a good Wildcat team to root for?
Fear not, my friends, and let me tell you about the wonder that is Northwestern women’s sports.
This half of the athletics department features 11 teams, six of which are in action right now. Three of these teams are ranked in the top 10 in the nation for their respective sports, so these ‘Cats aren’t messing around. Let’s check in on each individually.
Women’s Soccer (12-1-2, 6-0-1 B1G)
Northwestern Women’s soccer is unbeatable. Led by senior Aurea del Carmen and junior Josie Aulicino, this team is in the midst of a 13-game unbeaten streak, which has helped them in their meteoric rise to fifth in the nation. They also sit atop the Big Ten standings with No. 15 Michigan State, and the ‘Cats are in the process of hosting the Spartans at this very moment (stream on B1G+). Only two regular-season games (vs. Iowa, at Ohio State) remain after this marquee matchup, so the ‘Cats are itching to get to the postseason and prove themselves on the national stage.
For more on Women’s Soccer, check out Inside NU’s Women’s Soccer update, which comes out biweekly.
Field Hockey (12-3, 3-3 B1G)
Speaking of top-five ranked Northwestern squads, field hockey currently sits fourth in the polls. The team’s status as reigning national champion put a target on their back, but they’ve weathered the storm well enough. An absolute gauntlet of a schedule saw the ‘Cats drop three conference games and lose their No. 1 ranking (0-2 vs. Iowa, 1-2 (OT) vs Maryland, and 1-2 at Rutgers,) but keep in mind that, out of their 14 games, this team has faced 11 ranked teams. That’s enough that I don’t even have to spell out the number.
These ‘Cats were also in action today, taking on No. 21 Ohio State in Columbus where they hammered home yet another overtime victory by a 2-1 margin. Three games remain after that, and then Northwestern will seek to defend its title in the postseason.
Inside NU has coverage of the team with biweekly Field Hockey updates, so look for those for more in-depth analysis of this special squad.
Volleyball (13-6, 2-5 B1G)
Shifting indoors, Northwestern Volleyball has quietly had a very respectable season, with a winning record and receiving votes in the polls. They started the season 7-0 before losing to No. 13 Washington. They bounced back, however, rattling off four more wins to finish non-conference play at 11-1. Big Ten play, complete with its plethora of ranked teams, has not been as kind to the ‘Cats. They are 2-5 in the conference, with wins over top 10 Minnesota and unranked Rutgers, placing them at ninth in the conference standings. Thirteen matches await the ‘Cats, so not all hope is lost. Seven of those are home matchups as well, so go support this team in Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Keep an eye out for Inside NU’s volleyball coverage to keep up with this team over the last month of their season.
This squad is logistically difficult to watch, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth following. These fast ‘Cats have placed third or higher in all four of their competitions, including a win at the Bradley “Pink” Classic on Oct. 14th. This impressive record has led to Northwestern being ranked third in the Midwest region. Star Rachel McCardell will look to lead this team to more victories as they enter the postseason, which starts off on Oct. 28 with the Big Ten Championships.
As you may have guessed by now, Inside NU has coverage of Cross Country as well, so tune in to see what kind of postseason run these ‘Cats can make.
This sport is a little more difficult to classify as a fall sport, as they play all year long, but four tournaments in the fall are good enough for me. The first two tournaments of the year were tough ones, with the ‘Cats finishing 10th and 13th, but the Illini Invitational provided the perfect bounce-back. The ‘Cats finished tied for fifth, and they will look to carry that momentum into the Stanford Intercollegiate on Oct. 21-23, their last tournament of the fall.
Coverage of this team will really pick up in the spring, but be on the lookout for occasional updates until then.
Last, but certainly not least, is fencing. Fencing is arguably the coolest sport that Northwestern competes in, and the team helps its case by being ranked sixth in the nation. This team, much like golf, competes throughout the calendar year, and seven fall contests have them making the fall sports cut. The ‘Cats first tournament (Remenyik ROC AND RJCC) saw them bring home both Gold and Bronze medals in Foil, Silver and Bronze in Épée, and Gold in Saber. The next tournament (October NAC) was less exciting, with no one bringing home any hardware. The ‘Cats have five more tournaments in the fall, and then they really get going in the spring.
Fencing coverage will get started in the spring here on the site, so check back in then to see how the fall slate went.
As I’m sure you can tell from those updates, Northwestern women’s athletics is nothing to mess with. If you want to support good Wildcat sports, turn to these amazing teams first, because they deserve fan support.