Men’s Soccer: Despite 11 shots and 10 corners, Northwestern ties Ohio State

Miha+Miskovic+kicks+the+ball.+The+junior+goalkeeper+finished+with+three+saves+on+Saturday.

Daily file photo by Alison Albelda

Miha Miskovic kicks the ball. The junior goalkeeper finished with three saves on Saturday.

Drew Schott, Reporter

With a win over Ohio State on Saturday, Northwestern could’ve achieved its first 2-0 start in Big Ten play since 2012.

However, on a windy afternoon at Martin Stadium, the Wildcats (5-3-1, 1-0-1 Big Ten) and Buckeyes (5-3-1, 0-1-1) both failed to score during 90 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods, leading to a 0-0 tie.

“It was a good Big Ten game,” coach Tim Lenahan said. “Obviously, (with) the weather, the wind, the chill in the air for the first time, you’re not going to see as beautiful a game as you would on a beautiful day.”

NU put together one of its best offensive games this season, firing 11 shots, its third-highest amount this season, and taking a season-high 10 corner kicks.

Although Lenahan said the Cats are the Big Ten leader in shots-on-goal percentage, they must improve their shot selection to produce more goals.

During the first half, NU and Ohio State weren’t explosive on offense, taking only seven combined shots. But, in the second half, the Cats’ offense blossomed, with the squad playing at a faster pace, leading to more possessions on the Buckeyes’ side of the pitch.

NU took five shots to Ohio State’s one and earned five corner kicks, but the Cats couldn’t manage to score due to the Buckeyes’ physical defense.

The two teams went into overtime, where NU continued to attack and Ohio State struggled to contain its offense as the home team took three shots and three corner kicks. Senior midfielder Matt Moderwell, who led the team with four shots, was proud of the Cats’ productive offense.

“We were getting chances. There were some opportunities that we wished we would’ve finished,” Moderwell said. “But other than that, you can’t argue with all the corners… and all the shots on goal that we had.”

The lack of scoring could also be attributed to the goalie play. Both NU goalie Miha Miskovic and Buckeyes keeper Parker Siegfried made great saves to keep the game scoreless. In the 20th minute, Siegfried, to save a bicycle kick from Cats midfielder Vicente Castro, jumped into the air and blocked the ball over the goal. Meanwhile, Miskovic, in the 30th minute, saved a shot from Ohio State midfielder Xavier Green with his knee.

Miskovic received his first Big Ten shutout to give him three total on the season and, with the tie, NU still holds an above .500 record.

Lenahan acknowledged that going forward, the Cats must capitalize on scoring opportunities, especially since their next game is against Indiana, an eight-time national champion and the reigning Big Ten champion who beat NU twice last season. However, Moderwell believes the team will carry momentum from the tie into their matchup against the Hoosiers.

“We felt we should’ve won today,” he said. “And so, bouncing back against Indiana, a great opponent, here… that’s going to be exciting.”

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Twitter: @dschott328

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