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Women’s Soccer: Northwestern beats Ohio State, snaps two-game losing streak

Marisa+Viggiano+sends+a+free+kick+into+the+box.+The+junior+midfielder+assisted+on+Northwestern%E2%80%99s+only+goal+in+its+1-0+win+over+Ohio+State+on+Sunday.
Marisa Viggiano sends a free kick into the box. The junior midfielder assisted on Northwestern’s only goal in its 1-0 win over Ohio State on Sunday.

Marisa Viggiano sends a free kick into the box. The junior midfielder assisted on Northwestern’s only goal in its 1-0 win over Ohio State on Sunday.

Daily file photo by Katie Pach

Daily file photo by Katie Pach

Marisa Viggiano sends a free kick into the box. The junior midfielder assisted on Northwestern’s only goal in its 1-0 win over Ohio State on Sunday.

Charlie Goldsmith, Reporter

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Women’s Soccer


Northwestern understood that it had not beaten Ohio State since 2007 and knew that a two-match losing streak to start conference play would be detrimental toward its Big Ten title defense.

After coach Michael Moynihan reminded them of this before kickoff, the Wildcats (4-4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) ended their losing streak.

NU beat Ohio State 1-0 Sunday in Columbus. The Cats scored off a corner in the 37th minute after junior midfielder Marisa Viggiano’s corner kick found junior defender Kayla Sharples charging the net, a skill that Moynihan said Sharples does as well as anyone in the college game.

Senior goalkeeper Lauren Clem said Sharples’ goal reenergized the Cats to snap a difficult stretch in the season.

“This is a process,” Clem said. “Things happen, they may set you back, but (we) keep (our) eye on the ultimate goal.”

Ohio State (6-2-1, 1-1) scored 7 goals in its last game against Illinois, but NU held the Buckeyes to no goals and just three shots on goal in 90 minutes Sunday. Clem notched her third clean sheet of the year, with the most difficult of her saves coming in the 47th minute. Ohio State midfielder Sarah Roberts fired a right-footed volley from 25 yards, but Clem was there to punch the shot away.

Moynihan said he was satisfied with the Cats’ improved cohesion and defensive execution against the Buckeyes.

“We definitely had a great bounce back,” Moynihan said. “It was reminiscent of last year’s form. We really didn’t concede a dangerous chance the entire game.”

The win marked a reversal from the Cats’ 3-0 loss to Penn State last Thursday. During a team meeting following the match, Moynihan asked the players if they maintained faith in their ability to compete with the Big Ten’s best. He received a unanimous yes, and the Cats’ win marks a first step in their defense of the Big Ten Championship.

“We need to be (Big Ten Champions) again,” Clem said. “We know that each game counts. (Our upcoming games) will be a huge opportunity. The Big Ten is a crazy conference each year.”

The Cats next face No. 13 Rutgers (7-0-1, 1-0) on Friday at Martin Stadium. The Scarlet Knights gave NU its only conference loss last season. However, the Cats are confident in their ability to start a winning streak in conference play.

“We realized we needed to be better,” Clem said. “We’re not at our peak yet. This team is still growing, still learning. We’re figuring it out and we’re excited about what’s to come.”

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @2021_Charlie

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