What have we learned about Northwestern Women’s Soccer through six games? That they’re good.
Oh, you wanted more than that? That riveting breakdown wasn’t enough? I guess I can give you more insight then.
Northwestern women’s soccer (4-0-2) is off to one of the hottest starts in program history, making good progress toward another NCAA Tournament run. For the first time since 2018, the 20th-ranked Wildcats are unbeaten through their first six games.
They’ve scored 20 goals in six games. Mind you that the program record is 52, set in in 1997. Right now, the ‘Cats are on pace to score 60.
On the flip side, they’ve only let up four goals to opponents, tallying four shutouts in the process. The fewest they’ve ever allowed in a season is seven in 2016, so it would take an impressive effort to stay below that. Never say never with this team though.
This early season success has come in part from Michael Moynihan finding his squad. He trotted out the same eleven — Reiley Fitzpatrick, Nicole Doucette, Aurea del Carmen, Josie Aulicino, Caterina Regazzoni, Emma Phillips, Holland Carey, Ingrid Falls, Ella Hase, Danika Austin and Meg Boade — for the first five games, only making a change when forced to by an injury to Aulicino.
Speaking of Aulicino, she has looked like one of the best players in the country through her five games played. She’s scored four goals and notched six assists, tying the team lead in both categories. Her six assists are also tied for first in the Big Ten alongside teammate Boade, who herself is on pace for another All-Big Ten First Team season with three goals and six assists.
This duo has led the offense, but they have not been alone. Including them, 10 different players have scored. That includes Hase, who has scored four goals, doubling her career total, and del Carmen, who has two goals and two assists. Those four aforementioned players have each registered a goal and an assist in a match, with Boade doing it three times and Aulicino notching three of each in a game.
On the defensive side of the ball, the returning back line of Austin, Phillips and Doucette has performed as advertised. They’ve partnered with Fitzpatrick in net, and it seems like the sophomore has all but locked up the starting goalkeeper job. She’s made 12 saves while allowing only four goals, playing all but 30 minutes. If she can keep this level of play up, the Northwestern goal will be safe for the next few years.
Lastly, the new crop of first years have been pulling their weight. Four different first years have appeared in at least one game, with Carey turning herself into a bona fide starter, cracking the XI in all six games. Carey made an impact with her first ever touch in her first ever start, setting up Northwestern’s first goal of the season. Megan Norkett has also appeared in every game, tallying a goal and assist.
The ‘Cats are in about a good as a position as they can be as Big Ten play creeps up. If you’re not paying attention to this team, you should. This fall at Martin Stadium will continue to be very fun.