Northwestern cracks the Buckeyes 16-6 on Senior Day

Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune

Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune

Well that was hard to watch.

Northwestern gave Ohio State both barrels, lighting them up 16-6 on a rainy, dreary Senior Day for the Wildcats.

It’s hard to pick out exactly what Northwestern did that made them so dominant, but the final stats showed a decidedly one-sided story. Northwestern put up 4 more shots than Ohio State (29-25), saved 3 more shots (14-11), 2 more draw controls (13-11). And those stats are even a little misleading as Ohio State padded stats, leaving in their first team after Northwestern had put in their second and third squads at the end of the game.

Northwestern had everyone chip in, too. Sheila Nesselbush and Kara Mupo led the Wildcats with 3 goals and assist each, but 4 Wildcats, Selena Lasota, Kaleigh Craig, Shelby Fredericks, and Corrine Wessels, grabbed braces, and Wessels added 3 assists as well. In net, Bridget Bianco played a sparkling game. Bianco had 10 saves against 3 goals allowed before she was subbed out for backup Brooke Jones. Ohio State tested Bianco with some long-range efforts, but Bianco shut them down at every turn.

This win locks Northwestern into the 3-seed for the Big Ten Tournament. Crucially, this means that Northwestern will avoid Maryland until the conference finals. Assuming Northwestern handles business against Rutgers, Northwestern will meet Penn State in the semis. While the Nittany Lions did beat Northwestern earlier in the season, Penn State have been hit with a rash of injuries. Northwestern, it appears, is in good position to get another crack at the unanimously top ranked Maryland Terrapins.

Kelly Amonte Hiller couldn’t ask for a whole lot more for a final regular season game. Northwestern smacked a ranked opponent and should be riding on some momentum in the post season.

At a program like Northwestern, all that matters is peaking at the right time, and after today’s beatdown, Northwestern is doing just that.

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