Offensive explosion fuels 2 blowout wins

Nina Mandell

For 12 minutes on Sunday afternoon, everything for the Northwestern women’s soccer team was perfect.

After trouncing Iowa 6-0 on Friday, the Wildcats offense was unstoppable as they scored three goals in less than twelve minutes against Minnesota to secure a 3-1 win.

“We wouldn’t even let (Minnesota) get a chance at the ball,” Tabitha Lowey said. “I wish we could put together a whole game like that. If we can do that next weekend against Penn State and Ohio State, we’ll be unstoppable. That’s what we’ve trained for all season, to play like that.”

Lowey scored the first of her two goals in the match against Minnesota (3-8-0, 0-6-0 Big Ten) in the 20th minute when she drove straight through the center of Golden Gopher’s penalty box. Her second goal came less than eight minutes later when she finished off a floater from midfielder Shannon Schneenan.

Kelsey Hans had the Cats’ final goal four minutes later, giving her two goals on the weekend and 10 on the season, the most of any freshman in NU history.

Hans eclipsed the record — set by Christie Molitor in 1996 when she tallied eight goals — by notching her ninth goal of the season against the Hawkeyes.

Hans said while the record had been mentioned to her, she was more concerned about winning the match than making Cats’ history.

“I was surprised,” Hans said. “I wasn’t thinking about the record when I scored.”

Tori Bohannon started off the Cats’ scoring barrage against Iowa (0-7-2, 0-4-1), striking nine minutes into the match. Ashleigh Garmon continued breaking down Iowa’s defense, firing the ball into the back of the net in the 21st minute.

Kelly Sitkowski and Julie Lipinski’s scores gave the Cats (7-4-1, 3-2-0) a five-goal cushion and enough insurance to rest their starters. Freshman Caitlin Carr tallied her first career goal when she finished off freshman Danielle Iordanou’s cross.

“Everyone who came into the game did a good job of keeping up our level,” coach Jenny Haigh said. “We finished our game really strong even though we were able to clear our bench, which was great.”

NU controlled the game in the first half, but the Cats didn’t have an easy time going against the wind in the second half.

The Gophers used the wind to pressure the Cats’ defense but couldn’t manage many shots on goal.

NU outshot Minnesota 16-5, but the Gophers got a ball past keeper Whitney Jones in the 67th minute, ruining Jones’ bid for her second shutout of the weekend.

Haigh said the shifting winds forced the Cats to shift from a more direct long-ball approach to a possession game on the ground.

Despite Minnesota’s scoring chances at the the end of the second half, NU players said they couldn’t be more pleased with the weekend.

“It was just awesome,” Lowey said. “The whole weekend, the atmosphere of Northwestern athletics is amazing. It was so much fun.”

Reach Nina Mandell at [email protected]


Friday

IOWA 0

NU 6

Sunday

MINN. 1

NU 3