Women’s soccer: Cats’ memorable run comes to a close vs. Iowa


Nathan Richards/Daily Senior Staffer

Northwestern fell 1-0 to Iowa on Friday in the Big Ten semifinals, likely ending its season. Before the defeat, the Wildcats had not lost in six straight games, as they snuck into the tournament and upset top-seeded Penn State.

Huzaifa Patel, Reporter

Northwestern’s Cinderella run through the Big Ten Tournament ended Friday with the Wildcats falling to the Hawkeyes 1-0.

Two day after upsetting top-seed Penn State, the Cats were back at it in West Lafayette, Indiana, playing a decent game overall but failing to convert on any of their 19 chances.

It was NU’s first loss in seven games, the end to a magical run that resulted in multiple fantastic finishes. Only one of those games was decided by more than one goal, when the Cats beat Michigan State 2-0.

Friday was no different. The first half was a back-and-forth affair that left both teams scoreless, with both the Cats and the Hawkeyes totaling eight shots apiece.

“I thought the ball movement early on was good, but they caused us some problems later on in terms of our ability to get pressure to the ball,” NU coach Michael Moynihan said. “In the latter part of the first half I think they started to cause some problems for us.”

Moynihan said the team made adjustments at halftime and started to threaten more, but they were just unable to finish on the shots they got.

The Cats outshot the Hawkeyes 11-6 in the second half, but it was the Hawkeyes that made the play that counted.

In the 67th minute, star Iowa forward Cloe Lacasse received a sideline pass and snuck a ball into the left corner, past freshman goalie Lauren Clem and into the net for the game deciding goal.

“(Iowa was) very different than Penn State,” Moynihan said. “They don’t possess the ball the way Penn State does. They play more of a counter-attack. It can be a very frustrating style to play against, but credit to them, they’ve gotten a lot of victories and have achieved a lot of results playing more of a defensive game.”

Although NU’s season seems to be over, there is still a small chance at an NCAA tournament bid.

Before the team’s win against Penn State on Wednesday, the team sat 68th in the nation in RPI. Moynihan said a team usually needs to be in the 40’s to make the tournament, so the Cats would need a big jump in RPI to have a shot. He also said the Cats are rooting against underdogs winning their conference tournaments, as that would give those teams bids for the tournament that could go to a team like Northwestern.

“We’ve had some fantastic wins this year and momentum to end the season,” Moynihan said. “We’ll either be one of the last teams in or one of the last teams to be left out.”

Moynihan was quick to point out there is a lot for Cats fans to look forward to in this programs future, but he also praised his upperclassmen for their efforts in turning around the season.

“I think the future looks tremendously bright,” Moynihan said. “We can’t forget this senior group though. They really got things rolling for us, and have been a tremendous example with their character. It’s been great for our freshman to see, and it’ll definitely help us in the future.”

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @HuzaifaPatel95