Nov. 5, 2011
WATCH: Match Highlights
Box Score (PDF)
Season Stats (PDF)
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (U-M Soccer Field)
Score: Northwestern 1, Michigan 0
Records: Northwestern (10-4-4, 4-0-2), Michigan (5-13-1, 1-5-0)
Next NU Event: 2011 Big Ten Tournament - Nov. 9-13 - Ann Arbor, Mich. - Northwestern plays Friday, Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. ET
2011 Big Ten Tournament Bracket
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Chris Ritter scored a goal late in the second half to not only give Northwestern the 1-0 win over Michigan, but its first Big Ten regular season title in program history. Northwestern came into Saturday's match second in the conference standings but with its win and Ohio State's 1-0 loss to Indiana, the Wildcats are this year's Big Ten champions.
"Just a great day for our program and Northwestern athletics," Northwestern head coach Tim Lenahan said. "I'm really proud of the guys and they did a great job all year. We started out the season sluggishly and just really got better and better over the second half of the season. Winning a championship is like running a relay race and a lot of guys ran a heavy part of this journey. All of the alumni that played in this program, I want all of them to celebrate because this championship's as much for them as it is for this team. We look forward to the Big Ten Tournament next week but we're certainly going to enjoy this first regular season championship for Northwestern soccer."
With the win, Northwestern is also the No. 1 seed in next week's Big Ten Tournament, which takes place in Ann Arbor from Nov. 9-13. NU has a first-round bye as the No. 1 seed and will begin play Friday, facing the winner of the No. 4 Indiana/No. 5 Michigan State match that takes place on Wednesday. The Wildcats were unbeaten in Big Ten action (4-0-2) for the first time in program history and ride a nine-match unbeaten streak into the 2011 Big Ten Tournament.
Northwestern attacked throughout Saturday's match with 15 shots but were unable to knock the ball into the net until the 83:09 mark. Reed Losee sent a cross in from the right flank to Ritter, who chipped it in to the top center from about six yards out for his fourth and biggest goal of the season.
The Wildcats were playing without their leading scorer Oliver Kupe who had to sit out Saturday's match after receiving his fifth yellow card last Sunday against Indiana. Ritter stepped up in a big way, firing off a team-high four shots. Losee also had three shots, including two on goal.
NU goalie Tyler Miller fought off eight Michigan shots, saving two to record his ninth shutout of the year. Michigan's Tim Bergsma saved five shots, including four in the second half.
Be sure to stay tuned to NUsports.com throughout the week to prepare for the 2011 Big Ten Tournament.
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