Nov. 9, 2012
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Lakeside Field)
Score: Michigan 3, Northwestern 0
Records: NU (11-5-4), UM (10-8-1)
Next NU Event: TBD
EVANSTON, Ill. - Northwestern fell behind early and failed to solve the Michigan defense, falling to the Wolverines 3-0 in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament Friday at Lakeside Field.
The Wildcats posted seven shots, including two from freshman Joey Calistri, but could not put one past Michigan keeper Adam Grinwis.
Michigan proved it came to play early, breaking open the scoring just five minute into the contest. Fabio Pereira received the ball at the top of the 18-yard box, and fed it to Tyler Arnone to his right at the corner of the box. Arnone chested down the pass, and fired a shot across the goal with enough topspin to get over Tyler Millerand dip into the top left corner for a 1-0 lead.
Northwestern tried to respond, but had trouble stringing passes together and getting behind Michigan's backline. The best chance came when Eric Weberman
headed a long ball off to Calistri running behind the Wolverine center back. Calistri possessed, and switched the ball over to his left foot, but his shot sailed high and wide.
With under 10 minutes to play, Michigan found the back of the net again to double its lead. TJ VanSlooten laid off a nice pass to T.J. Roehn, who had split the NU center backs on a run into the box. Roehn's shot made it past a diving Miller, deflected off the right post, and bounced in to put the Wolverines up 2-0.
The 2-0 margin held into the intermission, with NU earning two corner kicks to just one for Michigan. However, the Wolverines posted eight shots and held Northwestern to three.
Although Northwestern started the second half with some promising attacks into Michigan territory, the Wolverines were able to counter one of these pushes forward to mark their third goal of the day. Fabio Pereira collected the ball in the Northwestern half, made his way through the vacated midfield and found Etienne Lussiez with a low through ball behind the NU back line. Lussiez put his shot past Miller, and dug the `Cats in a large hole with under 40 minutes to play.
The Wildcats regrouped, and managed to put together a few threatening chances. Cole Missimowas taken down 25 yards from goal, warranting a yellow card for Kofi Opare, but Weberman's curling free kick flew just over the crossbar. A few minutes later, Lakin went on a run down the left sideline, and crossed it in for Missimo at the top of the 6-yard box, but his header was saved by Grinwis.
Despite possessing the ball and pushing forward for the majority of the second stanza, NU wasn't able to rally back.
The Wolverines, seeded third in the tournament, will take on fifth-seeded Michigan State -- a 3-1 winner over Penn State -- in Sunday's championship game.
Northwestern will learn its postseason fate Monday when the NCAA tournament field is announced.
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