Women’s Soccer: Northwestern falls to Wisconsin in Big Ten battle

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Daily file photo by Kelsey Carroll

Sophomore midfielder Ingrid Falls dribbles the ball down the field against an Illinois defender. Falls facilitated offensive play and made multiple crosses in Friday’s game.

Skye Swann , Assistant Sports Editor

After an upsetting home loss to Indiana, Northwestern sought to bounce back against Wisconsin on the road but surrendered another loss to the Badgers.

The Wildcats (7-6-1, 3-3-1 Big Ten) lost 1-0 to Wisconsin Thursday night in Madison, Wisc. NU surrendered two losses to the Badgers in the 2020 campaign, dropping one match by a one-goal margin and another in penalty kicks. 

Coach Michael Moynihan said the Badgers played aggressively, pushing the pace of the game and taking more shots.

“We needed to generate better connections on that part of the field,” Moynihan said. “We need to break through lines and work on our crosses.”

Following the Cats’ loss to Indiana, sophomore midfielder Ingrid Falls said NU did not have its best performance against the Hoosiers. She said the Cats’ attack struggled in the matchup, explaining the crosses were not connecting between the teammates. 

With a weeklong break, Falls expressed NU’s focus on improving its shooting accuracy, a weak point in its game in the season thus far. She said the team’s communication continues to improve over the season, highlighting wins over in-state rival Illinois and Nebraska.

Moynihan added the Cats have been lacking on the offensive side of the field. He felt that NU had a plethora of shooting opportunities but couldn’t deliver on shots against Indiana, but praised graduate student midfielder Regan Steigleder’s performance, saying she has been a real leader for the squad.

“She’s an awesome leader,” Falls said. “She brings the intensity to every game no matter who we’re playing.” 

Steigleder was a focal point for the Cats’ offense against Wisconsin; she played hard and worked in the center field to keep possession. One of the captains of the team, she contributed to the squad’s production on the field.

NU will also look to amplify the defensive pressure, being that the Badgers are a high-powered offensive group. The Cats will look to keep a strong formation at their goal to force Wisconsin on the outside and to take wide shots.

Moynihan and Falls both felt confident of the team’s ability to step up to the task for Wisconsin if the squad prioritized shooting and connecting on their passes on the field. However, NU still couldn’t come out victorious, dropping the match in overtime on a goal by Wisconsin midfielder Natalie Viggiano. 

“We’re really looking to focus on getting our attack more involved,” Falls said. “We just needed to threaten Wisconsin’s defense more.”

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