|Moment No. 5
|Date||Nov. 18, 2012|
|Location||Valley Fields | Milwaukee, Wis.|
|Original Story||'Cats Keep Dancing with 1-0 Shutout of No. 7 Seed Marquette|
|Social Media||@NUMensSoccer | Northwestern Men's Soccer|
|Top 20 Countdown||Northwestern's Top 20 Moments of 2012-13 Countdown|
It's difficult to pick just one memorable moment from the 2012 Northwestern men's soccer season. There was the team's second Big Ten regular-season title in as many years, a 2-1 upset of then-No. 7 Notre Dame (who went on to achieve the No. 1 overall seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament) and an exciting 1-1 draw with eventual NCAA champion, Indiana, which ended up being the point the Wildcats needed to claim a share of the Big Ten title.
While all will stick with the Wildcats for years to come, NU's 1-0 shutout of No. 7 seed Marquette helped the 'Cats advance to the third round of the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in the program's seven trips to the big dance and ranks No. 5 on our list of the most memorable Northwestern moments of 2012-13.
Northwestern shut down the Golden Eagles, who entered the game averaging 2.1 goals per game, had not been shut out all season and had not lost on their home pitch. First-Team All-Big Ten honoree Tyler Miller played all 90 minutes in net to pick up his 10th shutout of the year, which ranks second in NU single-season history.
It was Joey Calistri's goal, his team-leading ninth of the year, in the 31st minute that proved to be the difference in the match. The Wildcats had a favorable free kick spot, just to the left of the 18-yard box, after Marquette was whistled for a foul. Junior defender Scott Lakin's free kick was played back to the top of the box, finding Calistri who sent home a one-touch shot into the upper right corner past a diving MU goalkeeper Charlie Lyon.
Both teams continued to battle in the second half with five shots for the Golden Eagles, compared to four for the Wildcats. Marquette had its only two shots on goal in the second half and Miller saved both.
The Wildcat defense also blocked a number of Marquette looks inside the box and defended until the final seconds. NU was whistled for a foul at midfield with the clock winding down, setting up an MU free kick, but the Golden Eagles were unable to get any looks at the net as the Wildcats hung on for the 1-0 victory and a trip to Louisville for the third round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
"I thought it was a great game," said Northwestern head coach Tim Lenahan, who captured his 250th career victory with the shutout. "I thought the first half we really played well, particularly the first 15 or 20 minutes, and Joey made a big play and then we defended like absolute warriors at the end of the game. When they were lumping service after service in there, we were hanging on for dear life but our guys were just absolute warriors. Marquette is a great team, they've had an awesome season, their coach has just done a remarkable job in the last seven years that he's been here. But we were able to make a play and then we were really battling at the end of the game to move onto the Sweet 16, so it's a good day for Northwestern soccer."
The 2012 Big Ten Champion squad also had five All-Big Ten honorees, including Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Joey Calistri, and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Chris Ritter. Both, along with Miller and sophomore defender Nikko Boxall, received first-team accolades while senior Jarrett Baughman was a second-team honoree. All, with the exception of Baughman, return to the pitch at Lakeside Field for the 2013 campaign.