Heading into Rutgers with a 7-0 all-time record against the Scarlet Knights, Northwestern had no trouble making it 8-0 in Piscataway, New Jersey, on Saturday.
The contest was close early on, with the score tied as late as 16 minutes into the first half, but the No. 5 Wildcats (9-3, 2-1 Big Ten) beat struggling Rutgers (1-13, 0-3) with a final score of 18-6.
Coach Kelly Amonte Hiller was thrilled with NU’s offensive outburst.
“We had a lot of different scorers,” she said. “That was exciting.”
Senior Kara Mupo led the Cats with 4 goals, giving her 25 on the season. Junior Kaleigh Craig, freshman Selena Lasota and freshman Hayley Ciklin each added to the scoring, netting 2 goals apiece.
The Cats outshot the Scarlet Knights 20-2 in the first half, which helped the team pull away with an 8-2 lead at halftime.
NU opened up the second half strongly, scoring the first 4 goals to extend its scoring run to 10 unanswered points.
Mupo had an impressive goal early in the second half, juking and circling around a defender to net her 4th score of the evening.
Winning draw controls was key to establishing strategy and momentum for the Cats, and NU bested the Scarlet Knights in the circle 18-8.
Rutgers’ lone highlight of the night came with less than 30 seconds remaining. Senior Lauren Sbrilli netted her 3rd goal of the game, giving her a hat trick.
Up next for the Cats is No. 9 Stony Brook in Stony Brook, New York, on Sunday at 12 p.m.
Amonte Hiller believes NU’s versatility will be an asset in the matchup.
“We have a lot of different styles we can throw out defensively,” she said. “I think our team is really buying into that.”
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