Women’s Soccer: Northwestern loses by biggest deficit yet

Alex Lederman, Reporter

After finally earning its first conference victory Saturday, Northwestern was ready for its luck to turn with a strong finish to the season. The rest of the Big Ten, however, was not willing to let that happen.

The Wildcats have returned to their losing ways, with their second consecutive loss to a Big Ten foe Sunday. Ohio State topped NU 6-1 in a game the Cats would love to get back.

“It was rough,” coach Michael Moynihan said.

Ohio State forward Nichelle Prince completed a hat-trick against NU, scoring the only two goals of the first half and the first of the second. This is the second consecutive game in which the Cats have allowed three straight goals to the opposing team’s leading scorer. Prince ranks third in the Big Ten with 11 goals.

“We know going into these games who these players are and what they do, but we’re still making silly decisions in terms of how we deal with them,” Moynihan said. “Things that we talk about, we’re not executing.”

The one goal for NU was scored by freshman forward Addie Steiner in the 68th minute, knocking the ball to the back of the net for the second time this season off the assist from junior forward Katie Landgrebe. Steiner struggled early this year with many shots firing off the crossbar or landing just wide of the net but now has two goals and an assist in the past three games.

Although Steiner is heating up, many other of the Cats’ frustrations persist. Senior forward Kate Allen, who has led the team in goals the past three seasons and is tied for the lead this year, missed five more shots — two on goal — bringing her shot percentage to a brutal .046 for the year. Allen has taken 65 shots this season, 32 on goal, but only has three goals. The player with the next most shot attempts on the squad is Steiner with 32.

The biggest news from this game came when freshman goalie Jenna Hascher left the game with a concussion after a collision with Ohio State midfielder Alexis Degler on the Buckeyes fourth goal of the game. Hascher was replaced in goal by senior Sam Hatfield, who saw her first game-time action this year. Hatfield would go on to allow two more goals to the Buckeyes: one to Kristen Niederhaus in the 77th minute and another to Nicole Miyashiro one minute later. Hascher’s status for future games remains unclear, Moynihan said.

“Somebody else has to step up (if Hascher is hurt for an extended period of time),” Moynihan said. “We’ve got other goalkeepers on this team who have worked really hard that are looking for opportunities. If one comes their way, I think they’ll be ready.”

NU had lost all its previous Big Ten matchups by only one or two goals. On Sunday, the Cats lost by five.

“I think that they really did capitalize on a lot of mistakes we made,” Landgrebe said.

“The game really wasn’t as lopsided as the score suggests,” Moynihan added. “That’s the thing that’s really hard to stomach.”

He said that there were some questionable calls and that luck just wasn’t on the Cats’ side. The game easily could have been tied at halftime and late in the second half, had a few little things gone NU’s way, Moynihan said.

This is a game the Cats would prefer to forget. Still, NU remains a team that has struggled with adversity before and is used to seeing the “L” next to its name. The group now must do something it has done many times before — bounce back up and prepare for its next foe. NU takes on Michigan State 7 p.m. Friday at Lakeside Field.

Email: [email protected]