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    The 2012-13 academic year was a memorable one for Northwestern. Over the next few weeks, we will celebrate the conference championships, noteworthy wins and significant milestones the Wildcats accumulated during the past year. Today, we begin with Moment No. 20, which features the Northwestern women's soccer team. Be sure to follow along at NUSports.com as we re-visit the top 20 moments.

    Moment No. 20
    Date Oct. 27, 2012
    Location DeMartin Soccer Complex | East Lansing, Mich.
    Original Story NU Blanks MSU in 2012 Finale, Moynihan Secures 200th Career Win
    Social Media @CatsWSoccer   |  Northwestern Women's Soccer
    Top 20 Countdown Northwestern's Top 20 Moments of 2012-13 Countdown

    Northwestern head women's soccer coach Michael Moynihan ended his first season with the Wildcats with a significant milestone. All it took was one goal, but Niki Sebo's score in the 19th minute during the 2012 season finale at Michigan State gave head coach Michael Moynihan his 200th career victory. The MSU victory also was a milestone for assistant coach David Nikolic, who has coached alongside Moynihan for 16 seasons.

    "It was a great win to end the season," Moynihan said following the Michigan State victory. "We ended the season with all of our seniors on the field and I thought it was a nice tribute to them and the leadership that they've shown and the progress that we've made this season; it all just kind of came together. I feel like we've come a long way and it's nice to get this little three game winning streak in the Big Ten to show something for our efforts. I thought getting another shutout on the road was fantastic. Our defense really stepped up as the season went on and got on the same page and we became more cohesive as a group. (Goalkeeper) Anna (Cassell) had a couple of really strong games here down the stretch. There are a lot of things to build on and again it was a great way to end the season and build towards the future."

    The Wildcats saw significant improvement during the 2012 campaign and ended the season with three-straight Big Ten victories, including a down-to-the-wire 2-1 win at Illinois, a 1-0 shutout against Iowa on Senior Day and the shutout victory against the Spartans. Moynihan and his staff guided the 'Cats to a five-win improvement from the 2011 season while facing a tough schedule that included eight games against squads that qualified for the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

    A Dodgeball Tournament Giving Hope (and Fun!)

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    By Katie Landgrebe - Northwestern Women's Soccer

    Katie Landgrebe is a sophomore on the Northwestern women's soccer team and the journalism major will give fans an inside look into the program with her blogs. The Northwestern women's soccer team is constantly giving back to the community and Katie's second entry details a great service event put on by the seniors from the 2012 women's soccer team.

    PHOTOS: 2013 Charity Dodgeball Tournament

     
    Colorful outfits, the sound of competition-crazed players, and balls whizzing through the air could only mean one thing: a dodgeball tournament, and more importantly, one put on by the women's soccer team. On a hot May day, more than 100 people packed into Patten Gym to participate in a tournament organized, run and inspired by our senior class. I can't begin to say how much Jess Rubin, Meredith Finsand and Bri Westlund have meant to me as teammates in the past two years, but in the past few weeks I've seen another, even better side of them. 
     
    They built this tournament from the ground up, and put a great cause at the center of it. The Lurie Children's Hospital is a place near and dear to NU women's soccer because of the incredible care they have given to our friend Hallie Munro, so it was only natural that the proceeds of this tournament would benefit their organization. With each team paying an entrance fee and many local businesses donating food for players, our seniors, and team, were able to raise $3,000 for a place that we know does good work for children with unimaginable circumstances; and all while having a great time!
     
    Observing the three dodgeball courts that lined Patten Gym was truly a sight to see, and many of us stuck around to watch and enjoy the fun atmosphere long after our refereeing shifts ended. Teams, many of which consisted of other NU student-athletes, sprinted to lines, performed trick plays and generally made the most of the chance to participate in a game outside of our normal practice schedules. Working alongside the seniors that had made all of this happen was an honor, and I couldn't help but smile at the thought of that money going to a place where daily, kids can have hope of a second chance because of the world-class care they receive.
     
    Something else that stuck with me was from an email Coach Moynihan sent to our team after some of us volunteered at Nettelhorst Elementary playing soccer and telling students about our experience as NU student-athletes. He pointed out that we were showing kids another avenue, one where you can excel at a sport and also love to do creative writing or use a talent you have to achieve something else, like being the first in your family to attend college. In a way, we were doing the same with the dodgeball tournament. Showing outsiders and ourselves that college athletes aren't just performers on the field and in the classroom, but also conscientious members of the community. In a packed gym filled with the sounds of our friends simply having a good time, our team, with the help of our senior class, learned that fun and service can collide in incredible ways.
     
    Coach Neely captured some great moments from the dodgeball tournament so make sure you check out the photo gallery. A big thanks to everyone who participated and helped to make the day memorable!

    Thoughts from Katie: Spring Lessons

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    By Katie Landgrebe - Northwestern Women's Soccer

    Katie Landgrebe is a sophomore on the Northwestern women's soccer team and the journalism major will give fans an inside look into the program with her blogs. Katie's first entry takes a look back at the Wildcats' spring soccer season that just wrapped up in early May.

    The end of spring season is always a little bittersweet. We're closing the book on some fun contests with regional rivals but also stepping into our offseason preparation for our main Big Ten season in the fall. I personally love those summer months, preparing my body to tackle preseason, setting goals for what we will accomplish in the fall and anticipating the memories we will make as we take the field on Chicago Friday nights. That said, spring season is a great time to put to work all of the things we focus on in the winter offseason and is always a time of growth for our team. This spring season was no exception.

    Our first weekend back from spring break we played two games against University of Wisconsin-Parkside and Valparaiso and brought home a win and a tie. It was an uncharacteristically warm Saturday in April and playing on Lakeside Field for the first time in six months was awesome. (And also reminded us why we work so hard on fitness in the fall; that 120x76 yard field can really take it out of you.) Against Loyola we played some of the best possession soccer that I've ever seen out of our team and picked up a tie. In a matchup with our Big Ten rival Wisconsin, we brought home a 1-0 win and generated many promising attacks, which has been the focus of much of our training in the past few months.

    The wins and ties this spring, understandably, make up many of the highlights of the past month. Despite that, I think that we collected some of our best learning in the losses we've had, displaying one of the reasons I believe spring season is so integral to collegiate programs: that because these games don't matter for conference wins and losses, we can try new things and work on our weaknesses in a highly competitive game environment without too much pressure. Our team did just that, learning against Marquette that our team organization against a great possession team needs to be better. We collected one of our hardest lessons late in the spring season against DePaul when we were out-worked and didn't compete with a full team effort.  

    The DePaul loss was a hard one to stomach and is still a fresh wound for many of us, but I think it presents one of the greatest opportunities for growth that our team has ever received. After the game we talked about how disappointing it is to have great trainings and see real progress, then not have it translate in a game situation. We talked about perseverance and focus, communication and attitude. Every team, at every level, works to put together a complete performance, harmonizing all of the technical and mental aspects of the game, each time they step on the field. Our team talked about how we need to expect that out of ourselves every single time we take the field too, that anything less is not an acceptable way to represent the Northwestern name or ourselves. Again, a bittersweet way to end the spring, but one that presents hope for even more growth in the months to come and holds a quiet current of expectation for how it will all come together in the fall.

    For me, a lot of things came together this spring season soccer-wise, and it ended up being one of the periods when I've most enjoyed playing at Northwestern. I learned about how important it is to identify areas of weakness in your play and then what it looks like to put in time and thought that is focused on combating those problems. I've begun to have this thought process that revolves around rejecting doing things half-heartedly and focuses on committing to things fully and doing them out of passion and love. My relationship with soccer has definitely not always been this way, and this spring was one of the first times in college that I have tackled things on the soccer field out of a genuine desire to fulfill what I've begun to see as a very worthy commitment in my life. Not that I've viewed soccer as some sort of side-job in the past year, but I've become much more aware that this is an opportunity I don't want to see pass by without knowing that I did all I could to get better at soccer, serve my teammates and have fun playing. Like most things, this way of thinking is a work in progress, imperfect and not always acted out, but it's been pretty transformative in how I approach playing soccer (and living life!).

    Soccer Returns to Lakeside Field Saturday

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    It's not officially Northwestern soccer season yet but there will be a match held at Lakeside Field Saturday. The Chicago Red Stars, which is a women's soccer team from the WPSL Elite League, will host two games at the home site of Chicago's Big Ten Team, beginning with this weekend's 6 p.m. match against the NE Mutiny. The Red Stars then return to Lakeside Field at 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 7 to host the Philadelphia Fever. This season, the Red Stars are foregoing one specific home venue as field turf renovations will be ongoing this summer at the at the Benedictine University soccer field.

    Sophomore midfielder Niki Sebo is part of the Red Stars roster but will not be competing at Lakeside Field Saturday. Instead, Sebo and a number of her Red Star teammates will be in Fort Wayne, Ind., playing in the US Open Cup. If the group makes it out of their regional, Sebo and her teammates would play in the national finals of the US Open Cup, which takes place July 20-22 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill.

    Northwestern soccer fans can potentially watch Sebo when the Red Stars return to Lakeside Field on July 7.

    So far this season, the Red Stars have been unstoppable and bring an undefeated 5-0-0 mark into Saturday's game. Chicago is the only undefeated team in the league, but is currently second in the WPSL Elite standings. The Boston Breakers lead the eight-team league with 18 points (15 for the Red Stars) and have a 6-1-0 record.

    For more information on the Chicago Red Stars, visit www.chicagoredstars.net

    BLOG: Surprise Guest Visits 'Cats Soccer Practices

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    Photo Gallery - Video

     

    Homecoming weekend is alive and well in Evanston and a very important member of this weekend's festivities stopped by Lakeside Field during today's practices. Seth Meyers, who is in town to serve as the Grand Marshal for Friday's Homecoming Parade and Pep Rally, visited with the soccer teams and did what he does best...made them laugh.

     

    Meyers is best known for his work as head writer and comedian for "Saturday Night Live" but he is also a close friend of women's soccer head coach Stephanie Foster. Meyers and Foster, formerly Erickson, attended Northwestern at the same time and developed a friendship while in school together.

     

    Meyers met with both soccer teams briefly and stuck around for photos before gearing up for tonight's Homecoming Parade. Check out the photo gallery link above and the video link to see Meyers at the Northwestern women's soccer practice.

    Wildcat Soccer Players Volunteer at NU-AYSO Soccer Jam

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    Photo Gallery


    Prior to the Northwestern men's soccer game against UMKC on Labor Day, the Wildcat men's and women's soccer teams lent a helping hand by assisting in the NU-American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) Soccer Jam.

     

    More than 300 AYSO players, aged 4-12, participated in the two-hour clinic at Lakeside Field where they learned different soccer skills from Northwestern players and enjoyed a visit from Willie the Wildcat. AYSO then held a pregame tailgate for nearly 800 Wildcat fans who later helped cheer the Wildcats to a 2-0 win over the Kangaroos.

     

    "The Evanston AYSO, with over 1,800 kids and 500 adult volunteers, could not be more thrilled to have such a fantastic partnership with the Northwestern soccer program," Regional Commissioner of the Evanston AYSO #735 Ryan Garton said. "Our NU-AYSO Soccer Jam on Labor Day weekend was a fun time for all--soccer skills and drills, a classic tailgate and AYSO helped to cheer the men's soccer team to a victory! It's fantastic to have kids, parents and students all together in soccer."

     

    The clinic also featured a number of giveaways and NU players signed autographs for the AYSO players. Be sure to check out the photo gallery at the top of the page from the NU-AYSO Soccer Jam.

    Kate Allen and Caroline Dagley each found of the back of the net Friday night as women's soccer closed its exhibition schedule with a 2-0 win over DePaul at Lakeside Field.

    Allen, who led NU in 2010 with six goals scored, got things started in the first half off a pass from freshman Katie Landgrebe. Both players hail from Ohio and are expected to be major factors in Northwestern's attack this season. Landgrebe scored NU's lone goal in its first exhibition game on Monday.

    Another freshman -- Lake Forest, Ill., native Georgia Waddle -- picked up the assist on Dagley's goal in the second half.

    Anna Cassell and Sam Hatfield combined in goal to shutout the Blue Demons. 

    "I was very pleased with the effort we put forth tonight," Northwestern Head Coach Stephanie Foster said after the game. "We have made excellent progress from Monday to Friday in our first week of fall camp."

    The 'Cats open the regular season at Marquette on Aug. 21. Northwestern will host Cincinnati, Dayton and Loyola for the Lakeside Classic on Aug. 26-28 to open the home portion of the 2011 season.

    Women's Soccer Opens Exhibition Play

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    Northwestern women's soccer opened exhibition play Monday afternoon with a 2-1 loss to Milwaukee at Lakeside Field. The early first match came after just six training sessions for the 'Cats, who opened their fall camp last Friday.

    Despite the result on the field, head coach Stephanie Foster said she was pleased with the effort she saw from her team.

    "I saw lots of positive and promising things," Foster said. "We played a lot of people and even though we're missing a few key members of our lineup right now this was a good early first look. I'm feeling like good things are emerging and it's only the fourth day of camp."

    Katie Landgrebe, a freshman from the Cincinnati suburb of Madeira, Ohio, scored Northwestern's lone goal midway through the second half. Nicole Duller sent a long pass up the middle of the field that found Landgrebe at the top of the box, and the newcomer finished with a beautiful shot from there.

    Landgrebe was a 2010 NSCAA High School All-American and is a proven scorer -- she holds the Madeira High career record with 79 goals scored.

    She's one of 10 newcomers to the Northwestern roster this fall, the majority of whom saw action in Monday's exhibition. Foster also noted the effort of fellow freshmen Sami Schrakamp (Danville, Calif./Monte Vista) and Georgia Waddle (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest) after the contest.

    Monday's exhibition is the first of two for Northwestern this fall. The Wildcats officially open the 2011 season at Marquette on Aug. 21 and will host the Lakeside Classic on Aug. 26 and 28.

    NU Coaches Share More Than Just a Sideline

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    Congratulations are in order for two Northwestern head coaches, Kelly Amonte Hiller of women's lacrosse and Stephanie Foster of women's soccer. Foster and Amonte Hiller coach their teams from the same sideline at Lakeside Field -- with the former patrolling the field in the fall, the latter in the spring -- and are veritable next-door neighbors in their offices at Patten Gymnasium, but as of Monday there is a new bond that links the two coaches.

    Kelly and Stephanie each gave birth to baby girls on Monday, July 11, the second daughter for each of them.

    The newest addition to the Amonte Hiller family is Lew Hughes Hiller, checking in at six pounds, 11 ounces. Look for her to join big sister Harlee as a mainstay in the stands at Lakeside Field when the six-time national champion women's lacrosse program takes to the turf next spring.

    Stephanie welcomed Etta Mae Foster into the world at exactly eight pounds, adding to a family that includes children Charles and Xiah. Etta Mae was just one day late for being able to enjoy the thrilling win by the United States over Brazil in the Women's World Cup -- an exciting two days for the Foster family, to be sure!

    Congratulations once again to Kelly, Stephanie and their families and we look forward to seeing the whole crew at Lakeside Field when the seasons roll around!