Non-Rev Recap: April 30-May 2
By Max Rogal
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.
- 4/30: Big Ten Semifinal, 24-14 win vs Rutgers
- 5/2: Big Ten Final, 17-12 win vs Maryland
YOUR NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS ARE THE BIG TEN CHAMPS! The ‘Cats defended their title from 2019 and continued their undefeated season through the Big Ten tournament.
In the semifinals, Rutgers kept it close for much of the game, but the ‘Cats eventually ran away with yet another dominant victory, defeating the Scarlet Knights 24-14. Leading scorer Izzy Scane found the back of the net only twice, but the rest of the squad kept up the relentless offensive pressure to score 20+ goals for the eighth time this season. Graduate student Sammy Mueller tallied six goals, and senior Lauren Gilbert added five to lead the Wildcat attack.
In the tournament final, the ‘Cats found themselves in an unfamiliar situation: down 5-1 to the second-seeded Maryland Terrapins. Unfazed and led by a barrage of goals from Izzy Scane, Northwestern charged right back, tying the game by halftime and starting the second half on a 5-0 run that led to an eventual 17-12 victory. Scane finished with nine goals, tying a Big Ten tournament record and earning her tournament MVP honors. Brennan Dwyer, Jill Girardi and Kendall Halpern also joined Scane on the All-Tournament Team for the ‘Cats, who now have a few weeks of rest before the NCAA tournament in Towson, MD, May 28-30.
- 4/30: 4-2 loss vs Illinois
- 5/1: 7-6 win vs Illinois
- 5/1: 4-3 loss vs Illinois
- 5/2: 6-3 win vs Illinois
Both pitchers went the distance in Friday’s battle of the aces, with UI’s Sydney Sickels out-dueling NU’s Danielle Williams in a 4-2 victory for the Illini. Illinois took the lead three batters into the game on a Bella Loya home run and added three more runs in the fourth, which would prove to be more than enough cushion for Sickels. The two-time Big Ten Pitcher of the Week plowed through the Northwestern lineup, allowing only two runs on six hits and striking out 10.
Both teams were feeling dramatic on Saturday. In game one, Northwestern finally found some offense against Sydney Sickels. However, two errors and three unearned runs meant that the ‘Cats were still down one run as Morgan Newport stepped into the box with two outs and a runner on base in the bottom of the seventh. Unfazed, the graduate student sent Sickels’ 106th pitch off the day off the centerfield scoreboard for a walk-off home run to even up the series.
Illinois returned the favor in game two. Riding a solid start from sophomore Sydney Supple and Morgan Newport’s second home run in as many games, the ‘Cats were one out away from a 2-1 series lead and a three-game advantage over their in-state rivals for third place in the conference. With the count at 0-1, junior Kailee Powell delivered a last-out, go-ahead homer of her own for the Illini. Northwestern loaded the bases in the bottom half of the seventh, but Sydney Sickels came back in to close the door, striking out Angela Zedac on a full count to end the game.
The series finale featured a rematch of Friday’s pitching matchup, but this time Danielle Williams got the better of Sydney Sickels, who made her third start of the series. Williams gave a three-run homer to Delaney Rummell in the top half of the first but settled down impressively, finishing the game with 10 strikeouts and only those three runs allowed. The ‘Cats offense struck for five extra-base hits, including homers from Hannah Cady and Rachel Lewis, to execute their second comeback win of the series, 6-3.
Northwestern maintains its two-game lead over the Illini for third in the conference and travels to play 12th place, Purdue, for a four-game series next weekend.
- 4/30: PPD vs Michigan
- 5/1: PPD vs Michigan
- 5/2: PPD vs Illinois
- 5/3: PPD vs Illinois
Northwestern baseball had all four of its games postponed this weekend due to health and safety concerns within the Wildcats’ program. Michigan and Illinois, who were already in Evanston when the postponements were announced, instead played back-to-back doubleheaders over the weekend, with the two sides splitting the four games at Rocky and Berenice Miller Park.
The ‘Cats sit at 12-16 after losing five in a row and eight of their last nine. They’ll look to get back to their early-season success next weekend in West Lafayette for a three-game set against Purdue.
- 4/30: NCAA First Round, 4-1 win vs Delaware
- 5/2: NCAA Quarterfinal, 3-1 loss vs Iowa
On Friday, the Wildcats faced the CAA champion Delaware Blue Hens in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Northwestern led the entire way after Peyton Halsey scored four minutes in. Bente Baekers scored her team-leading 13th and 14th goals, Big Ten Freshman of the Year Maddie Zimmer added one of her own, and goalkeeper Annabel Skubisz saved six of the seven shots on goal she faced in a 4-1 Wildcat victory.
In the quarterfinals, Northwestern faced a familiar foe in Iowa for the third time this season. The ‘Cats swept Iowa in a dramatic late-season series, but the Hawkeyes got the last laugh, sending Northwestern home with a 3-1 victory. After falling behind early, Bente Baekers put home her 15th goal of the year to tie the game in the second quarter, but that would be all for the Wildcat offense. Northwestern ends the 2021 season at an impressive 12-6, but three wins short of the ultimate goal of an NCAA championship.
- 4/30: Big Ten Quarterfinal, 4-0 win vs Minnesota
- 5/1: Big Ten Semifinal, 4-1 loss vs Michigan
Women’s tennis was in Madison, Wisconsin for the Big Ten Tournament this weekend, sweeping Minnesota 4-0 in the quarterfinals before falling to the second-seeded Michigan Wolverines in the semis.
In the quarterfinals, Julie Byrne and Briana Crowley led the way, winning in both doubles and singles. Caroline Pozo and Hannah McColgan won in doubles to secure the early point, and Christina Hand clinched the sweep, defeating the Gophers’ River Hart in two sets.
In the semifinals, Michigan was too much for the Wildcats, as they fell to the Wolverines for the third time this season. Julie Byrne secured the only win for the ‘Cats in singles, briefly trimming the Wolverine lead to 3-1 before Michigan’s Alyvia Jones sealed the win, beating Briana Crowley in a second-set tiebreaker.
The ‘Cats now await their NCAA tournament fate, which will be announced at 5 p.m. CT on Monday, May 3. The tournament will take place May 16-28 in Orlando, Florida.
- 4/30: Big Ten Quarterfinal, 4-2 win vs Nebraska
- 5/1: Big Ten Semifinal, 4-0 loss vs Ohio State
Men’s tennis also competed in the Big Ten Tournament this weekend, and like the women’s team, won the quarterfinal matchup before falling short in the semis.
In the quarterfinals, Nebraska’s Victor Moreno and Albert Sprlak-Puk took the doubles point, upsetting the Wildcats’ 22nd ranked pair of Nick Brookes and Simen Bratholm. Northwestern responded in singles, with Chris Ephron, Trice Pickens and Presley Thieneman all winning to take a 3-1 lead. Nebraska’s Victor Moreno defeated Nick Brookes to cut the lead to 3-2, but Steven Forman secured the win for the ‘Cats in the third set, defeating Shunya Maruyama.
In the semis, Northwestern could not stop Ohio State, who swept the ‘Cats for the second time this season and secured their 11th consecutive victory. The Buckeyes won the first two doubles matches followed by three straight singles matches in a dominant performance.
The NCAA tournament selection show will occur at 5:30 p.m. CT on Monday, May 3, with the tournament scheduled for May 17-28 in Orlando, Florida.
- 4/30-5/2: Big Ten Championship, third place
Men’s golf competed in the Big Ten Championships this weekend at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana. The ‘Cats finished a solid third as their in-state rivals Illinois claimed the title. Four out of five Wildcat golfers placed in the top 20, led by reigning Big Ten Golfer of the Week John Driscoll, who finished tied for sixth. Driscoll shot 71-75-75 at the par 72-course to finish at +5 for the tournament.
The NCAA Tournament men’s golf selection show will be held May 5 at 1 p.m. CT, with regional play teeing off May 17.
- NCAA Stanford Regional, May 10-12
In a week off for Northwestern, sophomore Irene Kim was named Big Ten Golfer of the Year, and the team was selected to the program’s 11th straight NCAA Regionals in Stanford, CA. The ‘Cats, who finished fifth in the Big Ten championship last week, will be the No. 8 seed of the 18-team field that also includes six individuals from non-qualifying teams. Northwestern will look to finish in the top six and advance to the NCAA Championships May 21-26 in Scottsdale, AZ.