Women’s Soccer: Gorman’s second overtime goal caps historic season for Northwestern


Leeks Lim/The Daily Northwestern

Kassidy Gorman dribbles around a defender earlier this season. The sophomore defender scored the winning goal in double overtime against Wisconsin Wednesday.

Max Schuman, Assistant Sports Editor

Sophomore outside back Kassidy Gorman was put in an unfamiliar position Wednesday night.

“I haven’t played forward in college,” she said. “I used to play there in high school, but not in college.”

But when a cross fell to her at the far post with three minutes left in the second overtime against conference-leading Wisconsin (11-5-3, 8-2-1 Big Ten), the defender-turned-winger didn’t look a bit out of place. Instead, she poked home a goal to lift Northwestern (13-4-2, 7-3-1) to a thrilling 2-1 victory in its regular season finale.

The first goal of Gorman’s collegiate career closes a historic season for the Wildcats, who finish the year with the most Big Ten wins in program history and a top-four conference finish that ensures a home game in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.

“It’s just great that we’re able to accomplish this goal that we’ve been working towards since last year,” junior forward Addie Steiner said, referring to the top-four finish.

Things looked bleak for the Cats late in the second half, as Badgers star midfielder Rose Lavelle ran right by NU freshman defenders Kayla Sharples and Hannah Davison with the ball before powering a shot into the Cats’ net. The junior, who is in the United States national team picture, put Wisconsin up 1-0 in the 74th minute.

Searching for an equalizer, coach Michael Moynihan switched formations to apply more pressure on Wisconsin.

“We switched to a 3-4-3 from a 4-4-2,” he said. “We wanted to be more aggressive, really get after it.”

NU had been dangerous all game despite the scoreline, but the team needed some help from the Badgers to get on the board in the 81st minute.

The Wisconsin defense botched a pass back to the keeper, leaving it way short and allowing Steiner to intercept the pass. Evading onrushing Badger keeper Caitlyn Clem, Steiner finished into the empty net for her team-leading seventh goal of the season.

The Cats stuck with their aggressive shape heading into overtime and outplayed Wisconsin, totaling four shots to the Badgers’ zero in the extra period.When senior winger Jennifer Korn whipped in a cross to Steiner, who found Gorman for the golden goal, NU’s relentless play paid off.

Wednesday’s win was no fluke. Outside of Lavelle’s moment of brilliance, the Cats’ defense was stout again, holding a potent Wisconsin offense to three shots on goal for the night.

NU’s offense was able to do enough to pull out the victory and hit its highest gear when sophomore forward Michelle Manning was on the pitch, a great sign as postseason play looms. Manning, who has struggled with injuries this year, was a sparkplug on the left side for the Cats in her 55 minutes and almost got the team on the board with an incisive diagonal ball that freshman forward Brenna Lovera couldn’t finish.

Riding high on a three-game win streak, fourth-seeded NU will face fifth-seeded Michigan on Sunday in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. Gorman said the Cats will be ready to chase their next goal of a conference title after the emotional victory.

“We’re a very humble team,” she said. “When it comes time to play and be motivated to reach our goal, we can do it.”

Due to incorrect information form a source, a previous version of this story misstated who assisted on the game-winner goal. Addie Steiner recorded the assist. The Daily regrets the error.

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