Editor’s note: Each week, WNUR Sports recaps the news and results from the in-season, non-revenue teams that we cover in order to help our listeners and readers stay connected to the pulse of Northwestern athletics. For football coverage, check out this week’s game recap HERE. Teams are discussed in alphabetical order.
By Jake Liker
Monday – TIE vs DePaul 1-1
Thursday – LOSS at Rutgers 2-1
It seemed that perhaps this week would be better than preceding ones for the men’s soccer team when Garrett Opperman nestled a header into the back of the net in 7th minute of Monday’s Windy City derby against DePaul. But 25 minutes later, the Blue Demons equalized.
And now, seven days later, the Wildcats remain in search of their first win since September 9th. Monday’s proceedings were rather dull compared to Thursday’s in Piscataway, which saw Northwestern go down 1-0 in the 73rd minute, but pull level at 1-1 in the 80th minute, only to concede a dramatic late penalty kick goal in the 88th minute, sealing a 2-1 defeat.
The Wildcats sit second-bottom in the Big Ten table with just 2 points from six matches. Their two remaining conference opponents––Michigan State and Wisconsin––both remain in contention for the Big Ten regular season title.
Thursday – WIN vs Indiana 2-1
Saturday – TIE vs Purdue 0-0
The women’s soccer team entered the week with uncertain prospects of another NCAA tournament bid, prospects which looked to be fading when Indiana took a 1-0 lead at Martin Stadium.
But goals from Brenna Lovera and Nia Harris buoyed the Wildcats to a vital comeback victory, keeping them firmly in the picture for Big Ten Tournament qualification. A disappointing scoreless draw at home against Purdue, however, left Northwestern on the outside looking in, as it stands.
The Wildcats are 9th in the Big Ten table––only the top 8 teams qualify for the conference tournament. With 11 points, the Wildcats will likely need to surpass Iowa or Minnesota (both have 13 points) in the final two matches to qualify.
Friday – LOSS at #8 Wisconsin 3-0
Saturday – LOSS at #3 Minnesota 3-0
A brutal 4-game stretch against top 10 opponents mercifully ended Saturday night with the Wildcats having failed to win a set in any of those 4 matches. Northwestern fell 25-13, 25-14, 25-15 in front of a crowd of over 7,000 Friday night in Madison.
Particularly disappointing about the loss to the Badgers was the Wildcats’ serving. Usually a strong serving unit, they failed to record a single ace, compared the 8 for the Badgers.
Northwestern was much improved in that department the next night in a more promising effort against Minnesota who downed the ‘Cats 25-12, 25-22, 25-19. The Wildcats managed 4 aces that night, compared to 1 for the Golden Gophers.
The volleyball team is now 0-8 in conference play. More than half of the teams in the Big Ten are ranked in the top 20 of the latest AVCA Coaches’ Poll, so the Wildcats will view their next opponent, the unranked Michigan State Spartans, as a prime opportunity to notch a victory.