Women’s Soccer: Wildcats struggle in first half of season

Mike Marut, Reporter

Northwestern’s endurance stalled in the 107th minute Friday as it fell to No. 9 Penn State in a 3-2 loss that stretched to double overtime.

The defeat rang similar to much of the Wildcats’ current season, and NU (2-5-2, 0-1 Big Ten) has work to do to achieve a winning Big Ten record — let alone break even — this fall.

Senior forward Kate Allen scored her first two goals of the season against the Nittany Lions, a striking stat based off her performance in 2012, when she led the Cats in goals. She continues to hold NU’s record for the quickest response goal, firing off a shot within 16 seconds during her freshman campaign. Allen was named to the Big Ten’s preseason Players to Watch list this season, but her performance has not validated the honor.

Still, coach Michael Moynihan said he saw some positive action in the match against the Nittany Lions.

“I was proud of the girls during the Penn State game,” Moynihan said. “We can now go into any game knowing we can compete.”

Moynihan elected to start a freshman goalkeeper and trust the hands of Jenna Hascher. She started the season with a three-game shutout streak, the longest since 2007. On Sept. 12 against Western Michigan, Hascher had a career-high seven saves, and in University Park, Pa., on Friday, she added four more saves to her record.

Junior midfielder Georgia Waddle started the season with two goals and one assist in nine games. Waddle tacked on the game-winning goal in NU’s victory over Oakland with a header off a corner kick.

A common theme throughout this season has been Moynihan’s tendency to substitute frequently during games to ensure his team isn’t plagued by fatigue. The tactic allows for many of the players to gain experience on the field.

Although the Cats have a deep bench and clear leaders on the team, the cogs haven’t quite fit together. At home, NU stands its ground fairly well with a balanced 2-1-1 record, but the team has yet to come away with a road win. With 10 games left — all against conference opponents — the Cats will play six at home and four away, culminating in the Big Ten Tournament in November. However, Moynihan said the non-conference games have prepared players for the conference season.

“The record only tells part of the story,” he said.

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