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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 surrenders late winner, falls to Rutgers 2-1

Daily file photo by Jorge Melendez
Senior midfielder Josie Aulicino dribbles the ball. Aulicino tallied Northwestern’s lone goal in its 2-1 defeat to Rutgers on Sunday.

In its final game of the regular season, Northwestern conceded a late tally to Rutgers, falling 2-1 Sunday in the Garden State.

On the heels of a 3-0 shutout victory over Minnesota, the Wildcats (9-5-4, 3-5-2 Big Ten) needed a win or draw against the Scarlet Knights (9-6-3, 5-4-1 Big Ten), in addition to losses from Michigan and Iowa, to secure a berth in the Big Ten Tournament. The conference’s top eight teams earn bids.

Despite the Wolverines and Hawkeyes both suffering defeats, NU was unable to nab the necessary result, finishing ninth in the conference standings and one point outside qualification for the tournament. 

In Sunday’s matinee, Rutgers was the first to strike, securing a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute. After a few incisive passes in the final third, midfielder Sara Brocious’ flick with the outside of her right boot skirted by the outstretched arms of sophomore goalkeeper Reiley Fitzpatrick. The Scarlet Knights carried the 1-0 advantage into halftime.

Out of the intermission, freshman forward Megan Norkett forced a save from Rutgers goalkeeper Olivia Bodmer. In the 57th minute, the ‘Cats found the equalizer courtesy of a top-bin strike from senior midfielder Josie Aulicino.

Pressured near midfield, sophomore midfielder Caterina Regazzoni played a looping ball in behind the Scarlet Knight defense to senior forward Ella Hase. The Orland Park native was able to track the ball down on the end line, before laying it off to Aulicino, whose one-timed effort glanced off the crossbar and into the back of the net.

Shots from Norkett and graduate student forward Aurea del Carmen shortly after Aulicino’s tally were both saved by Bodmer, keeping the game level 1-1. 

In the 77th minute, Rutgers took advantage of an NU defensive lapse. Receiving a pass in the middle of the park from Brocious, midfielder Sam Kroeger played a ball in between two ‘Cats — graduate student defender Danika Austin and freshman defender Maddie Finnerty — to forward Ashley Baran.

Baran took one long dribble before smashing a left-footed shot past Fitzpatrick for the game-winning score, a tally which, barring an unforeseen at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament, ended NU’s 2023 campaign.

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Twitter: @CervantesPAlex 

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