Women’s Soccer: Northwestern prepares for upcoming battle against Indiana, a big contest at home


Daily file photo by Kelsey Carroll

Northwestern senior forward Olivia Stone wards off her defender on the field. Stone will be a key contributor to the Wildcat offense Friday.

Skye Swann, Assistant Sports Editor

Women’s Soccer

With 85 minutes on the clock in Ryan Fieldhouse last season, Northwestern graduate student midfielder Regan Steigleder acted fast, passing the ball to junior midfielder Aurea Martin for a goal.

The Wildcats claimed victory over Indiana in February, earning their first win and conference game of the 2020-21 campaign. That win set the tone for the rescheduled season. Just a few months later, NU will face the Hoosiers again in a grandeur Friday night lights matchup at home. 

“We only have a couple days to train, but we are going to use our other wins at home to give us the momentum for Indiana,” sophomore midfielder Josie Aulicino said. 

The Cats (7-4-1, 3-1-1 Big Ten) will take on Indiana (8-2-3, 2-1-2) at Lanny and Sharon Martin Stadium. Coming off a two-point week with wins over in-state rival Illinois and Nebraska, NU sets their sights on a final conference home win before traveling on the road. 

With close win margins over the Fighting Illini and the Cornhuskers, the Cats’ main priority for the upcoming matchup will be shooting. Aulicino praised the team’s efficiency in the offensive zone this past week, attributing it to the group’s communication.

“We just have to stick to our game and look out for their key players,” Aulicino said. “We have to make the best of it when we are out there.”

Only a sophomore, Aulicino has held her own in the Big Ten conference, recording six goals and seven assists in the season thus far. She and Steigleder stole the show this past week, scoring both game-winning goals. 

As the season progresses, NU needs this big win over Indiana to set themselves up for a top seed in the Big Ten conference. Aulicino emphasized the importance each win holds for the team, but a Hoosier win would set the tone for future matchups against competitive conference rivals such as Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ohio State. 

Aulicino felt confident in the team’s ability to handle the task, saying the Cats’ performance on the field has improved tremendously since their conference season’s opening game of the conference season. 

“As time has gone on, we’ve come together as a team and played together as a team,” Aulicino said. “We clearly want to win, and that’s what we’re gonna prepare to do.”

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