Oct. 18, 2011
Northwestern (7-4-3, 2-0-1 Big Ten) vs. Loyola Chicago (3-9-1, 1-3-0 Horizon League)
Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011
Evanston, Ill. • 7 p.m.
Webstream: Wildcats All-Access (NUSports.com)
Northwestern Men’s Soccer Weekly Game Notes (PDF)
EVANSTON, Ill. – Northwestern hosts three-straight matches at Lakeside Field, beginning Wednesday against Loyola Chicago. These three games are the final home contests for the Wildcats as they close the season at Michigan on Nov. 5 and return to Ann Arbor for the 2011 Big Ten Tournament Nov. 9-13.
Boxall Named Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week
Last Time Out
Freshman Nikko Boxall (Auckland, New Zealand/Mt. Albert) has been named the Big Ten’s Co-Defensive Player of the Week, the conference announced Monday. He shares this week’s honor with Wisconsin’s Max Jentsch. Boxall scored his second goal of the season Wednesday against Northern Illinois, which proved to be the game-winning goal in NU’s 2-0 victory. Peter O’Neill (Fairway, Kan./Rockhurst) sent in a corner kick to Boxall who headed it in from six yards out for the score at the 57:42 mark. Boxall’s two game-winning goals this year tie him for second in the conference. Boxall also played on the Northwestern defense that shut out two opponents last week (1-0 win at Penn State).
(Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) scored the match’s lone goal just under 14 minutes into the second half as Northwestern ran its unbeaten streak to five games by posting a 1-0 win over Penn State at Jeffrey Field Sunday afternoon. It is the first win ever for the Wildcats against the Nittany Lions on their home pitch. The one goal proved to be enough for freshman goalkeeper Tyler Miller
(Woodbury, N.J./Bishop Eustace) and the Northwestern defense. Miller finished with five saves in the contest to earn his seventh shutout of the year.
Loyola only has three wins on the season, but two of those wins came in the last four matches. The Ramblers are 2-2 in their last four, defeating Oakland (1-0) and Detroit (1-0) while falling to Cleveland State (4-0) and Eastern Illinois (1-0). Loyola averages 0.77 goals per game while surrendering 1.85 goals a game. Brian Bement leads Loyola with eight points on four goals. In fact, Bement is the only Rambler player to score more than one goal this season as five other players have one goal each.
Series History vs. Loyola
Northwestern has the 19-4-7 series lead against Loyola. NU’s 19 wins against the Ramblers are the most for the Wildcats against any opponent. The Wildcats are 9-0-1 against Loyola under head coach Tim Lenahan as the Ramblers’ last victory over Northwestern was in 1999. Last year, Northwestern made the short drive to Chicago and knocked off Loyola 1-0 thanks to a goal in the 57th minute by Oliver Kupe.
Hard to Beat
After starting the season 1-3-1, Northwestern is 6-1-2 in its last nine matches, including a five-game unbeaten streak. The Wildcats are also unbeaten in Big Ten play, posting a 2-0-1 mark in their first three conference matches. The last time NU was unbeaten in its first three Big Ten matches was in 2008 (3-0 to start Big Ten play).
Here’s a look at NU’s numbers in its five-game unbeaten streak compared to the first nine games:
Last 5 First 9
Goals: 9 8
Goals/game: 1.80 0.89
Opponent goals: 3 10
Opp. goals/game: 0.60 1.11
Shots/game: 8.4 12.4
Points: 30 23
Saves: 18 21
Shutouts 3 4
This is not the first five-match unbeaten streak in the Tim Lenahan era. In 11 seasons with Northwestern, the Wildcats have had eight streaks of at least five or more games where NU either won or tied in every match (including the current streak). Here is a look at the longest unbeaten streaks in the Lenahan era:
*13 games: Aug. 29 - Oct. 22, 2008
10 games: Sept. 11 - Oct. 14, 2009
8 games: Aug. 31 - Sept. 26, 2007
6 games: Sept. 5 - Sept. 24, 2004
5 games: Sept. 12 - Sept. 28, 2003
5 games: Oct. 8 - Oct. 24, 2004
5 games: Sept. 4 – Sept. 20, 2006
5 games: Oct. 1, 2011 - Present
* Indicates program record
The Wildcats are currently in a stretch where they play three matches in eight days (Oct. 16 at Penn State, Oct. 29 vs. Loyola, Oct. 23 vs. Wisconsin). NU will have significantly more rest to end the season, playing their final two regular season games with five days of rest in between (Oct. 30 vs. Indiana, Nov. 5 at Michigan).
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