Wildcats continue in the NCAA tournament after win over SIUE
By Madeleine Stern
Northwestern women’s soccer does not quit. The Wildcats are moving on in the NCAA tournament after a 3-0 win against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) on Saturday.
This was not SIUE’s first visit to Martin Stadium this season. The teams last met on Aug. 25 when the ‘Cats crushed the Cougars 5-0. Although SIUE entered the NCAA tournament on a four-game winning streak, and Northwestern came in off a loss to Penn State in the Big Ten tournament, the energy on Saturday was not much different from the last time the ‘Cats took on the Cougars.
Northwestern’s offense pressured SIUE’s defense throughout the afternoon and the Cougars rarely saw their offensive half. The ‘Cats had 24 shots and eight corners, while SIUE had just one shot and no corner attempts.
The ‘Cats bombarded SIUE’s junior goalkeeper Taylor Spiller early on, but it did not pay off until the 38th minute.
A pass from junior forward Ella Hase set up junior forward Meg Boade who worked through a handful of Cougars in the box and unleashed a low rocket past Spiller, putting Northwestern up 1-0.
A few minutes later, with one minute left in the first half, another Wildcat junior, Josie Aulicino, did all the work. From just outside the box, she ripped a solid shot over Spiller’s head to add another goal for the ‘Cats.
The 15-minute halftime break did not do much to change the game’s momentum. The ‘Cats continued their attack and the Cougars continued to defend.
The ‘Cats capitalized one last time in the 76th minute. Aulicino stepped up for an indirect kick. There was a messy scramble in the box, and it was junior midfielder Ingrid Falls who was there to clean it up at the far post, finding the back of the net and giving the ‘Cats their third goal.
The Wildcats maintained their valiant effort and hard fight until the final buzzer, and finished with the scoreboard reading 3-0.
Northwestern will head to Los Angeles to play unranked Vanderbilt in the next round of the tournament on Friday.