By: Caleigh Ryan
The No. 12 Northwestern Wildcats (6-7, 1-1) will look to bounce back from a tough loss Friday night against No. 6 USC as they host the visiting Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Sunday at 12:00 at Martin Stadium.
Despite outshooting the Trojans 30-18, the Cats hit the crossbar five times in the 14-11 loss, as a late rally came up just short. Selena Lasota and Kaleigh Craig led the team with three goals apiece.
Northwestern leads the series 8-0 all time against Rutgers. The two teams last met in 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey where the Cats dominated en route to an 18-6 win.
Rutgers is fresh off a loss to No. 1 Maryland, 18-3. Junior midfielder Kristina Dunphey led the Scarlet Knights with two goals, while classmate Amanda Turturro also chipped in a goal. Goalkeeper Bianca Dente had a career high 14 saves in the loss.
Rutgers has struggled to find their stride on the season, going 0-5 against ranked opponents on the season. They are currently 0-2 in the Big Ten.
The Cats will look to move back to .500 with a win on Sunday. In order to qualify for the NCAA tournament, the ‘Cats will have to have at least a .500 record at the end of the season. Northwestern has the toughest schedule in the NCAA, facing a total of 12 ranked opponents this season.
Despite a 13-13 tie in the draw control battle on Friday, the Cats have dominated the draw in previous games. Sophomore Shelby Fredericks is currently 8th in the country with 6.2 draw controls per contest.
This will be Northwestern’s last regular season home game and will also include a senior send-off ceremony at the end of the game. Spring Sanders, Kaleigh Craig, Nancy Dunbar, Lauren Murray, Emily Eichner, Carolina Lizzio, and Jess Dahldorf will be honored for their careers at Northwestern.
WNUR’s own Austin Miller and Caleigh Ryan will have the call for WNUR Sports from Martin Stadium on Sunday afternoon. WNUR’s live coverage will start at 11:45 am and can be heard live over the air on 89.3 FM in Evanston or Chicago or online at wnursports.com