Women’s Soccer: Fourth seed Northwestern looks to continue historic season against SIUE in NCAA Tournament


Claudia Arriaga/The Daily Northwestern

Junior defender Nicole Doucette winds up to kick the ball. Doucette scored the game-winning goal in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal against Rutgers.

Lucas Kim, Reporter

In a season filled with program records and individual achievements, it only seems fitting that Northwestern has another chance to make history.

For the first time since 2018 and seventh time in program history, the Wildcats (14-4-2, 7-2-1 Big Ten), will compete in the NCAA Tournament.

Announced during Monday’s NCAA Selection Show, NU  –– seeded at fourth, the highest seed in program history –– will face Southern Illinois University Edwardsville at home this Saturday. The programs last met in late August when NU defeated the Cougars in a 5-0 victory in which the Cats’ defense allowed zero shots on goal.

Ranked No. 12 in the nation, NU is one of five Big Ten teams to secure bids to the 64-squad tournament. The Cats are coming off a 2-0 upset loss in last week’s Big Ten Tournament semifinal against eventual Big Ten Tournament champion Penn State.

Despite the disappointing loss, NU boasts one of its strongest teams in program history. This year alone, the Cats set program records in longest undefeated streak (13 games), highest national ranking (No. 5) and most goals in conference play (23 goals), among others.

Eight NU players received All-Big Ten honors, the most in program history and most of any Big Ten team this year. Freshman midfielder Caterina Regazzoni, the only first-year named to an All-Big Ten team, won Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors — the first Cat to win the award since 1996.

In its six prior appearances in the NCAA Tournament, NU is 6-6 and has never advanced past the Sweet 16. In their last appearance in 2018, the Cats lost 1-0 in the first round to NC State.

The winner of Saturday’s game will move on to face the winner of fifth seed Clemson and Vanderbilt the following week.

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Twitter: @lucaskim_15

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