Sept. 19, 2010
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Lakeside Field)
Score: Northwestern 2, Miami (Ohio) 1
Records: NU (7-3, 0-0 Big Ten), Miami (Ohio) (5-2, 0-0 MAC)
Next NU Event: Friday, Sept. 24 at Ohio State -- 2 p.m.
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EVANSTON, Ill. -- After protecting a 1-0 lead and controlling the action against Miami (Ohio) for a span of 59 minutes, Northwestern needed to dig deep and respond after the RedHawks tied the score with under five minutes to play. NU did just that as senior Zoe Almquist perfectly deflected in a Chelsea Armstrong penalty corner hit with 1:43 remaining to secure a 2-1 Wildcat win Sunday.
Almquist's goal, her sixth of the season and ninth of her career, upped Northwestern's overall record to 7-3 and gives the 'Cats momentum entering their Big Ten opener Friday at No. 10 Ohio State.
"I thought our kids came out today and really dominated, we had a lot of opportunities to score and even though we didn't score many goals we kept the pressure on in both halves," said Northwestern second-year head coach Tracey Fuchs, who owns a 19-11 record at the helm of the Wildcats. "Miami's goalie made some great saves today but I knew if we kept at it we would get one sooner or later. That moment just came later and it was a great win for the 'Cats."
A steady rotation of Northwestern forwards were relentless in their attack, finishing with a 16-3 shooting advantage over the RedHawks with a 15-3 edge in penalty corner opportunities.
NU appeared poised for a big scoring day after freshman Nikki Parsley scored her sixth goal of the season less than seven minutes into the contest. Senior Kendra Sirak created the scoring chance by dribbling into the circle and putting a bouncing hit on frame that was slowed by a Miami defender's stick. The ball slipped under Mueller's pads, however, and Parsley was there to clean things up.
Northwestern continued to maintain possession in Miami's circle throughout the match, but the packed-in RedHawk defense was able to keep NU off the board through much of the second half. Armstrong's best scoring chance came midway through the second when she got behind the MU defense on a breakaway, forcing a diving stick save by Mueller.
On one of its few possessions in the NU circle, Miami forced a penalty corner and found the equalizer when a deflected hit landed at the feet of Kylie Landeros in the middle of the circle. Landeros spun and hit a low shot into the cage to tie the score and set up the exciting finish to the match.
Miami (5-2), which was the first team outside the top 20 in the most recent Kookaburra/NFHCA Coaches Poll, lost its second straight heartbreaker after falling 2-1 to Indiana Friday when it surrendered a goal with two minutes to play.
NU goalkeeper Amanda Wirth made one save in earning the win and lowering her goals against average to 1.88.
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