Women’s Soccer: Northwestern looks to find its groove in 2022


Daily file photo by Kelsey Carroll

Junior midfielder Ingrid Falls dribbles downfield. Falls tied for third on the team with two goals last season.

Charlotte Varnes, Managing Editor

It’s been an up-and-down few years for Northwestern women’s soccer.

The program went through a golden age from 2015-2018, advancing to the NCAA Tournament in four straight seasons and winning the Big Ten Championship in 2016 under coach Michael Moynihan’s leadership. 

But the Wildcats haven’t recorded a winning record since then. NU finished 2021 with a 7-9-1 record — a 44% win rate.

After graduating several starters and a handful of transfers, the Wildcats will rely on their remaining upperclassmen leaders and a group of talented underclassmen in hopes of hitting above .500 and making a splash in the Big Ten. 

NU retains most of its offensive talent from 2021. Junior midfielder Josie Aulicino will play a significant role this season after leading the Cats in scoring and assists in 2021. Senior midfielder Aurea del Carmen and junior midfielder Ingrid Falls return as well after tying for third on the team in scoring with two goals apiece in 2021.

Perhaps the biggest question mark is who will anchor NU in goal. Goalkeeper Mackenzie Wood opted to take her fifth year of eligibility at Notre Dame, leaving the Cats without a starting keeper. Graduate goalkeeper Mia Raben, a transfer from Wake Forest, might be the perfect fit. She will compete with senior Maddie Lo and freshman Reiley Fitzpatrick for the starting job.

A number of key defenders graduated and opted to not take their fifth year at NU. But senior defender Danika Austin, who started every game in 2021, remains and will likely play an important leadership role. Incoming recruit Charis Toney, ranked as a top-15 defender in the country, may make an immediate impact upon her arrival in Evanston. 

With a talented incoming class and several starters returning, the Cats will look to build momentum and return to their success of years prior. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @charvarnes11

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