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The Daily Northwestern

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Women’s Soccer: Northwestern breaks three-game scoreless streak, falls 3-2 to Nebraska

Daily file photo by Micah Sandy
Junior defender Emma Phillips. Phillips tallied both of Northwestern’s goals in a 3-2 defeat to Nebraska on Sunday.

Down 2-0 with 20 minutes remaining in Sunday’s game, Northwestern needed to find an answer for its struggling offense –– and quick.

Enter junior defender Emma Phillips. Within 13 minutes, Phillips tied the game with two electrifying set piece goals, frustrating Nebraska defenders and bringing life to the Wildcats.

However, these goals were not enough as the Cornhuskers (8-2-3, 2-1-2 Big Ten) promptly retook the lead and defeated NU (7-3-3, 1-3-1 Big Ten) 3-2.

Going into Sunday, the ‘Cats were desperate for some offensive action, having gone scoreless in their previous three games. But it was Nebraska that took an early lead, notching two goals within a minute of one another.

At the half, the Cornhuskers had tallied five more shots than NU and controlled possession in their offensive third for much of the first 45 minutes. 

The second half witnessed the ‘Cats offense come alive. Eager to break its scoreless streak, NU looked to exploit Phillips’ dominance on set pieces to cut the lead.

“Emma’s a competitor and wants to get after everything,” coach Michael Moynihan said. “(They were) trying to double team her … and she still finds her way.”

The ‘Cats’ first goal came on a 70th minute free kick from sophomore midfielder Caterina Regazzoni, who lobbed the ball to the far post to an unmarked Phillips for an uncontested header. Phillips struck again with six minutes remaining, rising above four defenders to head in a perfectly placed corner kick from senior midfielder Meg Boade. 

When it seemed like all the momentum was going NU’s way, Nebraska forward Eleanor Dale — the nation’s leading scorer — silenced the home crowd with a game-winning goal just moments later. 

The ‘Cats dropped into a four-back formation for the second straight game, deviating from their usual three-back approach in hopes of containing Nebraska’s wide midfielders. Despite the change in defensive scheme, Dale gave NU trouble all afternoon, ending with two goals and nine shots total.

It was another tough defeat for the ‘Cats, who accumulated 21 shots total –– including five more shots on target than the Cornhuskers.

“We certainly created more than enough chances to win the game again, even if we gave up the three. So that’s what’s frustrating,” Moynihan said.

With the loss, NU has now lost more conference games than it did all of last season when the team made the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2018.

The ‘Cats will be back for their next outing against Wisconsin on Thursday.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @lucaskim_15

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