Men’s Soccer: NU defeats Wisconsin 2-0 but misses out on Big Ten regular season title


Nathan Richards/Daily Senior Staffer

Junior forward Joey Calistri’s 2 goals gave Northwestern a 2-0 victory over Wisconsin on Wednesday. Despite the win, the Wildcats settled for third place in the final Big Ten standings because of wins by Maryland and Ohio State.

Julian Gerez, Development and Recruitment Editor


Despite a dominant 2-0 victory over Wisconsin (3-11-3, 0-7-1 Big Ten), No. 16 Northwestern (9-3-5, 4-1-3) was not able to win the conference regular season championship after Maryland’s victory over Rutgers.

The Wildcats finished third in the conference and will therefore host No. 2 Indiana (11-3-4, 3-3-2) — who finished sixth in the Big Ten despite its national ranking — at Lakeside Field on Sunday in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.

“If you average the five polls together, (Indiana is) the No. 1 team in the country,” coach Tim Lenahan said. “So that’s your reward … Only in the Big Ten.”

Junior forward Joey Calistri, who had not scored since Oct. 5, ended his scoring drought and picked up a brace in NU’s match against Wisconsin with two well-taken goals.

“It’s always tough when you’re going through a little bit of a rough patch,” Calistri said. “It happens as part of the game, so you have to grow with it and learn from it. I knew that if I kept putting the work in, that good things would come.”

The Cats scored the first goal with their first shot of the game in the 11th minute, when senior midfielder Eric Weberman played a good ball through to Calistri, who beat the goalkeeper one-on-one and put NU in the lead.

Weberman was brought into action just five minutes later. He took a corner that bounced off of a Badgers defender and back to his feet. Weberman cut in from the left side and ripped a shot with his left foot that rattled off of the crossbar.

Wisconsin struggled to establish itself offensively, with the Cats controlling possession and snuffing out the Badgers’ few opportunities. As a result, some of the Wisconsin players grew frustrated and played a very physical match, with three Cats ending up on the ground after fouls from Wisconsin. Badgers midfielder Alex Masbruch earned the first and only caution of the match with a trip in his attempt to stop a dangerous counterattack by Calistri in the 37th minute.

Wisconsin was able to maintain possession toward the end of the first half but was not able to put quality shots onto senior goalkeeper Tyler Miller’s net.

At half time, Maryland’s match ended in a 3-2 victory for the Terrapins, clinching their Big Ten regular season championship.

Though their conference title hopes were done, the Cats didn’t take long to put the pressure on Wisconsin again after the second half kickoff. In the 50th minute, Weberman played in freshman forward Sam Forsgren in the 18-yard-box, and he cut it back and found Calistri with a good run at the far post. The junior slotted into the back of the net for his second goal of the match.

Toward the end of the match, Badgers defender Matej Radonic received a red card for denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity which might have given Calistri his hat-trick.

“The best thing is that we got the result against a solid Wisconsin team,” Calistri said. “We found a way to grind it out today on a windy night. It was a good all-around effort.”

The Cats were outshot 11-5, but Lenahan also emphasized the importance of the win, which maintained NU’s undefeated home record ahead of the tournament.

“Any Big Ten win is a special win,” he said. “Wisconsin is a pretty good team … we kind of closed up shop a little bit, but I think they’re going to be heard from in this tournament.”

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