Nov. 7, 2012
Box Score Photo Gallery
Watch: Ohio State Game Highlights
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Lakeside Field)
Score: No. 2 seed Northwestern 2, No. 7 seed Ohio State 0
Records: NU (11-4-4), OSU (6-10-3)
Next NU Event: Friday, Nov. 9 - 2:30 p.m. CT - 2012 Big Ten Tournament Semifinals vs. No. 3 seed Michigan - Lakeside Field
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern relied on two early goals and lockdown defense to open the 2012 Big Ten Tournament with a 2-0 victory over Ohio State Wednesday at Lakeside Field. Kyle Schickel and Joey Calistri scored within the opening 11 minutes, and the second-seeded Wildcats controlled the tempo throughout to advance to the B1G Semifinals Friday against No. 3 seed Michigan.
|Ohio State Game Highlights|
"I thought the first 20 minutes we played really well, then we scored the two goals and we closed up shop and unfortunately that's the way it is sometimes," Northwestern head coach Tim Lenahan said. "We don't order that, that's just what happens. We were hanging on in the last part of the match and they were sending everybody forward and that's soccer. If we were losing 2-0, we'd be doing the same thing. I thought we defended the box really well. Tyler (Miller) is fantastic on service so that certainly gives you some comfort there. They have to serve, we have to defend and for the most part, we did. For me, who was great tonight was Kyle Schickel, who hasn't been on the scoreboard for a long time. He had a goal and an assist so that's pretty good for a senior to be able to do that. When your senior gets a goal and an assist in a big game like this, that's a good thing."
The Wildcats needed just over five minutes to break open the scoring. Cole Missimo broke down the left sideline, forcing the ref's hand when he was taken down just outside the 18 yard box trying to cut back to the middle. After Zach Mason received a yellow card, Grant Wilson stood over the ensuing free kick and whipped in a low swinging cross. Kyle Schickel broke in front of his man and got his right foot on the curling effort at top of the 6-yard box, blasting his one-touch redirection into the bottom right corner past a diving Alex Wimmer and put NU up 1-0.
Schickel got back on the score sheet just five minutes later, this time in the assist column. After retaining possession past midfield, Schickel turned and played Joey Calistri through behind the two Buckeye center backs. Calistri found himself one-on-one with an on-rushing Alex Wimmer, and calmly deposited a right footed shot into the bottom right to double the Wildcat lead.
Eric Weberman almost gave NU a third goal when he ripped a drive from the top of the box that forced Wimmer into a great diving save, but the 'Cats happily went into the break with a 2-0 lead.
Northwestern kept the ball pinned down in OSU territory for large portions of the half to control possession, and posted six shots to four for the Buckeyes. The Wildcat back line was composed and organized, preventing OSU from testing goalie Tyler Miller.
The second half started with more of the same for NU, as they pushed forward to create more chances. Cole Missimo went on a run through the OSU defense, before firing a 25 yard shot just high of the crossbar. Scott Lakin then fed Layth Masri, who laid it off for Lakin on a run into the box for a beautiful give and go, with Lakin's left-footed shot sailing just wide.
OSU's sense of urgency pushed their attack forward as the clock ticked down on their season, but they could not solve the Wildcat defense. Despite ending up with 11 shots to match 11 for NU, the Buckeyes failed to convert as Tyler Miller posted his eighth shutout of the year and 17th of his young NU career. His 17 career shutouts now move Miller into sole possession of second place on the NU all-time career list.
Both Missimo and Chris Ritter finished with two shots for Northwestern, and the center back duo of Nikko Boxall and Jarrett Baughman were instrumental in shutting down the OSU attack throughout the match.
Northwestern continues their quest for the 2012 Big Ten Tournament title at 2:30 p.m. on Friday against third-seeded Michigan at Lakeside Field. Semifinal action begins at noon on Friday when No. 1 seed Penn State meets No. 5 seed Michigan State.
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