Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

37° Evanston, IL
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Advertisement
Email Newsletter

Sign up to receive our email newsletter in your inbox.



Advertisement

Advertisement

Women’s Soccer: Northwestern players look to new strategies

Last season’s weakness has become Northwestern’s strength.

The Wildcats struggled to find the back of the net last year, scoring an average of less than a goal a game. In 20 games, their opponents outscored them 24 to 15.

A goal against Michigan at Lakeside Field on Saturday would equal their goal total with last season’s.

“Clearly, it’s an improvement from last year, which was just a really huge struggle for us,” coach Stephanie Foster said.

NU has improved its defense as well, letting in only 11 goals so far.

The Wolverines (5-2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) enter the game with better numbers-14 goals scored and eight against in nine games -but the Cats (5-4-2, 1-1) have faced a tougher schedule, which has included three ranked teams.

The only opponent both teams have faced this season is Eastern Michigan. NU won 3-1, while Michigan tied the Eagles 1-1.

“Every game we’ve played this year has been tight and competitive,” Foster said. “A lot of teams who’ve scored a lot more goals than us haven’t had quite the challenges that we’ve had as far as a competitive schedule.”

Still, Foster isn’t satisfied.

“I wouldn’t say we’re happy,” she said. “I think we need to be more hungry, take more shots, create more chances and obviously finish them.”

This season, the Cats have had eight different goalscorers – freshman forward Kate Allen leads the team with five, senior midfielder Jennifer Baumann has two, and six other players have one apiece.

Freshman forward Bo Podkopacz has appeared in every one of the Cats’ games so far this season, notching two assists, but is still searching for her first goal in an NU jersey. She said the diversified goal-scoring threat is an asset to the team.

“It’s a strength,” Podkopacz said. “It’s good to have a lot of people on the field that are able to score and not rely on just one person.”

Junior forward Caroline Dagley, who scored her first goal of the season against Missouri, said that the Cats were creating better chances as result of a switch in formation.

“We’re playing with a two-front instead of a three-front,” Dagley said. “A lot of our attack comes from those outside-mids because we have those this year. That helps us going forward, putting crosses in.”

Both the Cats and the Wolverines enter this weekend looking to make amends for last Sunday’s narrow defeats. Two late goals consigned Michigan to defeat at home to rival Ohio State, while NU lost at Purdue 1-0 after the Boilermakers scored with less than six minutes remaining.

Though Michigan leads the all-time series 10-4-4, the Cats haven’t lost to the Wolverines since Foster became head coach in 2006. Last season, the Cats tied 2-2 in Ann Arbor, coming back from two goals behind.

Quick responses to opponents’ goals have become NU’s trademark this season, with freshman midfielder Julie Sierks scoring 36 seconds after Notre Dame’s first goal two weeks ago, and Allen responding for the Cats 16 seconds after Indiana took the lead last Friday.

“I think [responding to goals] is a great thing we can do,” Foster said. “They don’t make us deflate or crumble. It’s good to know that that’s our attitude when something goes wrong.”

[email protected]

More to Discover
Activate Search
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Women’s Soccer: Northwestern players look to new strategies