Women’s Soccer: Northwestern’s losing streak persists in Hoosier State

Alex Lederman, Reporter

Northwestern suffered heartbreaking losses this weekend at Indiana and Purdue, remaining winless in conference play.

“We can’t get a break,” coach Michael Moynihan said.

The Wildcats first fell victim to Indiana in a 2-1 double overtime loss Friday. This is the fifth time they have gone through two sets of extra time, coming away with three losses and two ties.

Moynihan said the team is doing the right things but has just been unlucky. Many shots continued to hit the posts, and calls have not gone NU’s way. The Cats have come close to winning each of their conference matchups, losing all five Big Ten games consecutively, each by only one goal. Freshman goalkeeper Jenna Hascher said NU has had multiple opportunities but it has not been able to capitalize on those chances.

Senior midfielder Julie Sierks added that the Cats must move forward.

“We just have to keep working hard and keep a positive attitude, and we know the win will come,” Sierks said.

Sierks scored the one goal against Indiana and was cited as a standout this weekend by Moynihan, along with Hascher, who had 12 saves in the two games. Eight of Hascher’s saves came against the Hoosiers and four against the Boilermakers.

The second loss came Sunday in West Lafayette, Ind., as Purdue defeated NU 1-0. The Cats had nine shots, including two shots on goal, and four corner kicks, but NU was not able to get any points up on the board.

“We have a defensive wall, but they can only do so much,” Sierks said. “It doesn’t matter if our offense can’t score goals.”

Regardless of its prior struggles, the team remains optimistic. The Cats believe they have played well overall and that a win is in the near future. Hascher said the Cats have passed well and have played aggressive ball, while Sierks cites their physical play and team unity as strengths.

One of the problems has been consistency, Moynihan said. Although the team has looked great at times, it has had periods where it has broken down. The other major issue has been finishing. Although NU has created opportunities, it has not been able to make its shots — too many balls have fired off the crossbar.

“When you’re out there for 90 minutes, you’ve got to play strong the whole way through,” Moynihan said.

The Cats return to their home turf on Saturday to face yet again another conference foe: Minnesota. The Golden Gophers will be fresh off a victory over the Nittany Lions. Though the results have not been ideal, Moynihan remains proud of what his squad has accomplished.

“I give this team a ton of credit,” Moynihan said. “They truly are a tremendous group and they keep getting better every day.”

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