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Women’s Soccer: Northwestern wins OT thriller off Gorman game-winner

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Kassidy Gorman lunges into a tackle. The junior midfielder scored the game-winning goal Thursday against Michigan State.

Kassidy Gorman lunges into a tackle. The junior midfielder scored the game-winning goal Thursday against Michigan State.

Katie Pach/The Daily Northwestern

Katie Pach/The Daily Northwestern

Kassidy Gorman lunges into a tackle. The junior midfielder scored the game-winning goal Thursday against Michigan State.

Robbie Markus, Assistant Sports Editor

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Women’s Soccer


The Wildcats missed on a number of opportunities to beat Michigan State in regulation. But when overtime hit, they got the job done.

Junior forward Kassidy Gorman drilled a ball over Spartans goalkeeper Savanna Wojtanowski’s head to clinch Thursday’s game. Off freshman forward Maddy Lucas’ assist, Gorman’s goal gave Northwestern (11-1-1, 4-1-1 Big Ten) a 1-0 win over Michigan State (5-7-1, 2-4-0).

With her fourth goal of the season, NU coach Michael Moynihan praised Gorman for her trust in herself.

“Goal scorers have to operate with confidence,” Moynihan said. “Give (Kassidy) a lot of credit for her persistence.”

Coming off a scoreless draw against Ohio State in which they created opportunities they didn’t finish, the Cats finished Thursday’s contest with 17 shots and seven shots on goal. Gorman led the charge along with graduate midfielder Nandi Mehta, who both contributed four shots to NU’s attack.

Throughout the second half, the Cats were knocking on Michigan State’s door. Gorman had a breakaway one-on-one in the 59th minute, but a kick-save from Wojtanowski kept the game scoreless.

Then, with just two minutes remaining in regulation, Lucas ripped a ball that sailed just over the crossbar. In the end, NU outshot the Spartans 11-5 in the second half.

With both junior forward Michelle Manning and sophomore forward Brenna Lovera injured, the Cats have looked for offensive help from unusual places. After playing two years at left back, Gorman has played up top this season, placing herself at second on the team in goals with Thursday’s winner. In addition, senior midfielder Rachel Zampa also bolstered the Cats’ offense, sliding in at forward and notching two shots for NU.

The Cats’ defense continued its dominance, as the shutout was the team’s 10th clean sheet through 13 games. Junior goalkeeper Lauren Clem only needed to make one save the entire match, and aside from sophomore defender Hannah Davison’s 55th minute yellow card, NU played smart, confident defense all game.

The defense set the tone for the team to dominate possession throughout the match, providing the attack with the chances it needed. Sophomore midfielder Michele Chernesky said the Cats’ full-team effort was the difference.

“Experience and mental toughness have really helped us out,” Chernesky said. “It took us until overtime to finish our chances, but we got it done, and that’s what matters.”

With the win, NU jumped into third in the Big Ten with five conference matches remaining. This sets the stage for a big conference battle at home Sunday against No. 19 Michigan, who currently sits at first in the conference.

The Cats are 7-0-0 at home and haven’t allowed a goal in Evanston this season. Now, thanks to Gorman, NU will have momentum on its side when it takes on the Wolverines.

“At the very end, we capitalized on our opportunities,” Gorman said. “We found a way to get the ball in the back of the net.”

Email: robinsonmarkus2019@u.northwestern.edu

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