EVANSTON, Ill. – With thunder and lightning looming, and heavy winds and rain present, Northern Illinois took on Northwestern at Lakeside Field. Though the Huskies (2-3-0) took quality shots during the evening and kept Northwestern (3-2-1) on its heels, NIU was unable to finish and fell to the Wildcats, 2-0.
“We definitely created more opportunities for ourselves in the second half and we had some quality scoring chances,” said Head Coach John Ross. “In the first half, it was tough with the wind behind us and the ball continuing to run off the field. We had our chances but we have to make better decisions to keep that ball in play.”
Seven minutes into the match, a campus wide power outage delayed the contest for 15 minutes, causing the lights over Lakeside Field to go out just before an awarded Huskie throw in. The lights were slowly restored on the pitch and play resumed as normal.
NIU put one shot on frame in the first stanza, but had good scoring chances. With the wind at their backs, the Huskies were able to send balls with pace and movement toward the net, but the wind hooked and sliced the balls wide of the net.
Northwestern took the lead in the match with its goal in the 35th minute as Kate Allen crossed a ball into KK Barr, who volleyed the ball past Amy Carr in net. The Wildcats lead NIU in shots in the half, 6-5. Some of the Huskies best chances came on corner kick attempts, where they bested the NU, 2-1.
The Wildcats scored their second goal of the match in the 61st minute, when Georgia Waddle crossed a ball from the end line, to the center of goalkeepers box and to the head of Niki Sebo. She placed the ball over the head of Carr and just under the bar. Carr raised her arm in appeal for an offsides call on Northwestern but the plea was in vain as the goal conted to give NU a 2-0 lead.
After the second goal NIU continued to pose a threat to NU, moving the ball on the ground and towards the net with the wind in its face. The Huskies ended the contest with nine shots in the contest, two on frame. Cori Frankenberg put one on frame in the first half, while Sara Spaulding added the other in the second half of play.
Spaulding’s shot deflected off a defender threatened to spin past the keeper, but Rachel Bergman made the play to save the clean sheet. Northwestern only outshot the Huskies, 10-9, during the game. Freshman Emily Nulty lead Northern Illinois in shots with two.
Northern Illinois will return to action Sunday afternoon when it takes on Eastern Illinois in Charleston, Ill.