Women’s Soccer: Two goals from Steiner fuel Wildcats’ first conference win

Taylor Sheridan, Reporter

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Coming off a loss against Ohio State, Northwestern (5-6-2) looked to secure its first Big Ten win at home against the Illinois Fighting Illini, and that’s exactly what the team did, beating Illinois (9-4-0) 2-0 Sunday.

The Illini, led by the Big Ten’s top scorer, Jannelle Flaws, were favored to win. Illinois outshot the Wildcats 17-12, but NU’s shots proved more successful. Both goals came from sophomore forward Addie Steiner.

“This feels so great,” Steiner said. “I literally don’t have any words right now.”

Steiner scored the first goal for the Cats, assisted by Niki Sebo, giving NU the 1-0 lead over Illinois only three minutes into the first half. It was a looping shot over the goalkeeper’s head, setting a positive tone for the Cats early on in the game.

For the remainder of the half, Illinois had better offensive chances than the Cats, but none proved effective.

The second half started off slow for both NU and Illinois with very few attempted shots in the first couple minutes of the half. The game was very physical, as expected of Big Ten rivals. The physicality in the second half reflected the frustration of the Fighting Illini team.

Steiner had another good shot in the middle of the second half, but was called offside. This drive provided the NU team with the momentum to finish the game strong, and in the 87th minute Steiner took a far-out shot, scoring from nearly 40 yards away. With only four minutes remaining in the game, the goal secured the first Big Ten win for the Cats.

Goalkeeper Lauren Clem had six saves, proving to be a key component in the Wildcats’ success. However, the shutout would not have been possible without the strong Cats’ defense.

The NU defense played strong all game, limiting Flaws to only six shot attempts and snapping her five-game scoring streak.

Coach Michael Moynihan said he was grateful for the game.

“We’ve been pretty beat up,” he said, “It was nice to get the goal that sealed it.”

Email: taylorsheridan2018@u.northwestern.edu