Women’s Soccer: Freshmen lead Northwestern to win over Missouri


Daily file photo by Katie Pach

Mikayla Hampton dribbles the ball. The junior forward scored the second goal of her career for Northwestern on Sunday.

Jake Liker, Reporter

Women’s Soccer

New faces shined against old foes in Northwestern’s 2-1 comeback victory over Missouri on Thursday night.

Senior forward Jessica Johnson drew first blood for the Tigers (2-4-1) in the 61st minute of the teams’ third meeting in four years, but the Wildcats (3-2-1) equalized six minutes later when junior midfielder Marisa Viggiano converted a penalty kick, which was drawn by freshman midfielder Kylie Fisher. Freshman forward Mikayla Hampton, making her first career start, netted the game-winner in the 82nd minute.

Missouri was largely in control for the first 20 minutes of the game, winning battle after battle in the midfield, which coach Michael Moynihan attributed to the Tigers’ tactical change.

“It was an interesting one because Missouri has played a 4-3-3 (formation) most of the season, and they came out in a 3-5-2,” Moynihan said. “I don’t know if they did that because we were in a 3-5-2 against Cincinnati, to try to counter that. Whatever the reason was, it obviously gave them a numerical advantage in the midfield.”

But the Tigers were unable to capitalize on any of the chances they created in the early stages of the game. Soon after the 20th minute, NU began to establish control.

“Once we were able to break some of their pressure, the 3-v-3s started to lean in our favor and that’s when we started to create all the chances,” Moynihan said. “It was just a matter of probably weathering a little bit of the storm at the beginning.”

The previous 2014 and 2015 meetings between the two teams both finished 0-0, and Thursday’s looked to be heading there until the 61st minute, when Missouri forward Sarah Luebbert touched the ball on to Johnson, who dragged the ball along the top of the 18-yard box before firing it in stride into the roof of the net.

The equalizer was set up by Fisher, who made a screaming run down the right flank, lofted the ball high over the head of an oncoming defender and continued her run into the box.

“I was kind of just going with the flow and trying to beat the defender and create a shot or a play to get a chance for us to score,” Fisher said.

Missouri’s Mary Trujillo pursued Fisher into the box to challenge for the ball, but tripped Fisher in the process. The Wildcats were awarded a penalty, which Viggiano converted for her second goal of the season.

Hampton’s goal, the first of her college career, was borne out of individual creativity, sidestepping the Tigers’ Anna Frick multiple times before slotting the ball into the bottom-left corner of the goal.

“I had some adrenaline, and I just really wanted to put my team on the board,” Hampton said. “They’d been working hard the whole game, giving me chances, so it just felt really good to get one on the board for them and get the win.”

With the victory, the Cats snapped a three-game winless streak.

NU’s next match is on Sunday at home against Pepperdine, which received votes in last week’s poll.

“They’re hungry for more now,” Moynihan said. “It feels good to win after a few games of putting out an awful lot of effort, and they’re excited to get back out Sunday and do it again. I think their spirits are in really good shape right now.”

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