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Northwestern women’s basketball previews 2023-24: Reserves

Lots of young guns looking for the opportunity to make an impact.

At long last Northwestern will play basketball in less than a month. To celebrate, we’ll continue our preseason coverage of Wildcat women’s basketball by looking at the team’s projected reserves for the year ahead.

F Lauren Trumpy

The sophomore from Pennsylvania has a family history steeped in all types of athletics. Her grandfather Bob played for the Cincinnati Bengals, and later called the Super Bowl for NBC; her second cousin Mike played running back for the Wildcats from 2009-13, and both her parents played basketball at Robert Morris University. After a junior year in the Pennsylvania prep leagues in which she averaged 13.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, Trumpy tore her ACL in October of 2021 during her volleyball season. That volleyball team won multiple PIAA titles, and the basketball team made it to both the MPC title game and the PIAA tournament during Trumpy’s senior season.

Standing at 6-foot-5, Trumpy combines size with a great knowledge of the game honed by serving as a de facto assistant for her high school team while recovering from the injury. She didn’t receive any action last year, but with Courtney Shaw’s departure, there’s a chance for Trumpy to make an impact.

F Alana Goodchild

One of three international players on the 2023-24 roster, Goodchild hails from Sydney, Australia. She has nearly half a decade of international play under her belt, including tournaments like the U15 Oceania tournament, the U16 Asia tournament and the U17 World Cup. Goodchild earned a scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport and also was on the Bendigo Spirit, which won the U20 national championship of South Wales. Goodchild had other Power Five offers, but chose Northwestern and became a fairly common rotational player.

In 15 games last season, Goodchild scored 30 points and grabbed five rebounds. She was excellent from the free throw line, sinking seven of her eight attempts, but shot just 5-of-19 from behind the arc. The lack of rebounding (just five total last season) and ball control (11 turnovers to just one assist) prevented her from receiving more playing time, but with another offseason under her belt, Goodchild could see those minutes take a big jump.

F Rachel Mutombo

The first-year is no stranger to tough competition, thanks to a decorated four-year career in Olney, Maryland, near Washington, D.C. During her junior year, Mutombo averaged 10 points and eight rebounds per game to help lead Good Counsel to a 10-2 record and a top 5 spot in the DC area. During her senior year, Mutombo was WCAC honorable mention, and also reached the GUAA finals with her AAU team in 2022.

After dealing with tough competition and establishing herself as one of the best, Mutombo will have a chance to do it again in the Big Ten. At 6-foot-3, she’s tied with Caileigh Walsh in height and behind only Mercy Ademusayo and Trumpy on this Wildcats squad. That height could be key in Big Ten play.

G Casey Harter

One of three first-years to join the Wildcats this year, Harter, much like Mutombo, made a name for herself in east coast basketball. Playing for Souderton High School in Pennsylvania, Harter reached back-to-back SOL titles and PIAA Class 6A playoff tournaments. Aside from team success, there's also plenty of individual success to like. In her senior season, Harter was named first-team all-region after averaging 16.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. She closed out her high school career with 1,211 total points, finishing third all time in Souderton history.

Recruiting really picked up after Harter’s success on the AAU circuit (her team reached a GUAA Elite 8), but Northwestern beat out programs like Providence, Harvard and Loyola Maryland. Harter’s versatility and defensive acumen should be key for the Wildcats over her career, and if she’s able to continue improving her long-range shooting, Harter has a chance to move up in the rotation quickly.