Women’s Soccer: Northwestern defeats Illinois, extends undefeated streak to 11 games


Seeger Gray/Daily Senior Staffer

Senior midfielder Rowan Lapi dribbles the ball. Lapi scored Northwestern’s first goal on Sunday on a penalty.

Lucas Kim, Reporter

The Wildcats continue to make history.

No. 8 Northwestern (10-1-2, 4-0-1 Big Ten) defeated its in-state foe Illinois (6-5-2, 1-3-1 4-0 Sunday. With this weekend’s win, the Cats have not lost in 11 straight games — the longest streak in program history.

Currently, NU’s No. 8 ranking in the United Soccer Coaches Poll marks the program’s highest-ever ranking.

Early aggressive play and relentless attacking drove the Cats’ excellent offensive output, outpacing the Fighting Illini by six shots on goal.

Scoring began on a 33rd-minute penalty shot from senior midfielder Rowan Lapi, one of three NU penalties on the day. With her score, the Cats have gone eight games straight with a first half goal.

Junior forward Meg Boade nearly extended NU’s lead on another penalty during the 57th minute, but the shot was saved by Illinois goalkeeper Julia Cili.

However, within a minute of the blocked penalty, senior defender Danika Austin rebounded a ball headed away by an Illinois defender and hit a screamer into the top right corner from outside the box. This marked Austin’s first goal of the season and the first game in which both captains, Lapi and Austin, scored a goal.

But neither were the Cats’ most prolific player on the pitch Sunday. That title was earned by junior midfielder Josie Aulicino who scored NU’s next two goals, one on a header and the other on yet another penalty.

NU will continue its historic season back at home on Friday night against No. 23 Wisconsin for Alumni Night. The matchup proves to be an exciting one, as the Badgers enter the game having won eight straight games.

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Twitter: @lucaskim_15

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