Sept. 20, 2012
No. 21 Northwestern (5-0-2, 0-0-0 B1G)
vs. Michigan (2-4-0, 0-0-0 B1G)
Sunday, September 23 • 3 p.m.
Evanston, Ill. • Lakeside Field
Live Stats: Gametracker
Live Video: Wildcats All-Access
In-Game Tweets: @NU_SportsLIVE
Ticket Prices: $7 Adults • $4 Youth/Seniors • $3 Groups of 15 or more (One ticket is good for Sunday's double-header featuring the NU women's soccer team vs. Ohio State at noon and the men's game vs. Michigan at 3 p.m.)
Sunday's Promotion: First 200 fans through the door will receive a FREE commemorative Big Ten Championship drawstring bag!
Northwestern begins its Big Ten regular season title defense Sunday with its conference opener against Michigan at 3 p.m. at Lakeside Field. Coincidentally, NU defeated the Wolverines 1-0 in the 2011 Big Ten regular-season finale to clinch its title. This is the lone match of the weekend for both teams.
Celebrate the B1G Championship
Be sure to arrive at Lakeside Field early to help the team celebrate the 2011 season that included a double Big Ten Championship (regular season and tournament)! There will be a brief ceremony prior to the match where members of the senior class from the 2011 squad will help NU unveil the new banner.
There is plenty of soccer taking place Sunday at Lakeside Field as it is another double-header weekend for both Northwestern programs. The women's soccer team continues Big Ten action at noon vs. Ohio State prior to the men's 3 p.m. match vs. Michigan. One ticket is good for both games.
Last Time Out
Northwestern played in its third and final regular-season tournament, hosting the Lakeside Classic last weekend. The Wildcats won the tournament, posting shutout victories over Iona (2-0) and Milwaukee (2-0). NU sophomore defender Nikko Boxall was named MVP of the tournament after scoring the game-winning goal against Milwaukee Sunday (his second career goal after scoring one his freshman year at the same tournament) and helping the NU defense post two shutouts.
On Friday, NU used two second-half goals, scored by freshman forward Joey Calistri and senior midfielder Kyle Schickel, to knock off the Gaels, 2-0. The Wildcats had a similar performance on Sunday, scoring two more second half goals courtesy of Boxall and senior midfielder/forward Nick Gendron to defeat Milwaukee, 2-0 and extend NU's winning streak to four matches.
Calistri, sophomore goalkeeper Tyler Miller and sophomore midfielder/defender Grant Wilson (two assists) also made the All-Tournament Team.
A number of soccer publications took notice of Northwestern following its 2-0 weekend at the Lakeside Classic. College Soccer News tabbed Boxall for its National Team of the Week and he also made the Team of the Week for TopDrawerSoccer.com. Miller was one of CollegeSportsMadness.com's National Players of the Week.
NU in the Rankings
Northwestern is back in the top 25 in the latest NSCAA poll, coming in at No. 21 this week. Here's a look at how NU ranks in various college soccer polls:
NSCAA: No. 21
TopDrawerSoccer.com: No. 20
College Soccer News: No. 18
Soccer America: No. 19
Hard to Beat
The Wildcats are unbeaten on the year so far (5-0-2) and have not lost a regular-season game in quite some time. Dating back to last season, NU has not lost a regular-season game since Sept. 28, 2011 and is unbeaten in its last 16 regular-season contests (12-0-4). Northwestern rattled of an 11-match unbeaten streak last year, which included two wins en route to the Big Ten Tournament title. Northwestern's lone loss in nearly a year was during the NCAA Tournament, meaning NU is unbeaten in 18 of its last 19 games (13-1-5).
As the Wildcats begin Big Ten action, they also have a six-match unbeaten streak in regular season conference games. NU went 4-0-2 vs. Big Ten foes in the regular season and had a tie and a win in the conference tournament, to go 5-0-3 vs. conference opponents last year.
Four, We Want More
Northwestern also is on a four-match winning streak after sweeping the competition at the NIU adidas Invite and Lakeside Classic. Here's a look at NU's statistics in its four-match winning streak, compared to the overall season stats.
Northwestern freshman Henry Herrill made his first career start last Sunday, filling in for Kyle Schickel in the midfield. Herrill had an impressive debut, assisting on both goals to score his first collegiate points. Prior to Sunday's match, Herrill had played five minutes in two games combined, seeing limited time at South Carolina and vs. Drake. He logged 65 minutes in NU's 2-0 win vs. Milwaukee.
The Wolverines are 2-4-0 on the year and are also playing their Big Ten opener Sunday. NU is the third-straight undefeated and ranked opponent Michigan has faced, also playing No. 17 Marquette (2-1 loss) and No. 8 Notre Dame (1-0 loss) recently. Michigan's two wins came against Vermont (3-0) and Northeastern (4-1). Michigan is under the direction of first-year head coach Chaka Daley, who spent the previous 12 years at Providence College. Daley is just the second head coach in U-M men's soccer history.
Last Time vs. Michigan...
Last year's match vs. Michigan in Ann Arbor was a memorable one for the Wildcats and one that went down to the final minutes. Needing a win to clinch the Big Ten championship and playing without the team's leading goal-scorer in Oliver Kupe, then-junior Chris Ritter stepped up in the 84th minute, scoring the lone goal in NU's 1-0 shutout of Michigan. With the win, NU won its first Big Ten regular season title and shortly after that, returned to Ann Arbor where the Wildcats again hoisted another trophy after winning the 2011 Big Ten Tournament, another first in program history.
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