Oct. 21, 2011
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Lakeside Field)
Score: Northwestern 5, Pacific 0
Records: Northwestern (11-6, 1-3 Big Ten), Pacific (2-11, 0-5 NorPac),
Next NU Event: Saturday, Oct. 22 vs. Iowa Evanston, Ill. Noon
EVANSTON, Ill. -- No. 20 Northwestern got off to another fast start on Friday at Lakeside Field as redshirt freshman Kelsey Thompson scored her first career goal, giving the 'Cats the early 1-0 lead over the Pacific Tigers just 10 minutes in. Thanks to great ball control and a dominating defensive effort, that score would be all that was needed as NU cruised by Pacific, 5-0.
With the win, Northwestern secured its third-consecutive winning season, giving head coach Tracey Fuchs' squad 34 wins over that span. Fuchs, however, was absent from the sidelines on Friday, at the helm of a United States national team that won a 2-1 contest over Chile in the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
"I was happy with our effort after having had 10 days to prepare and rest," said assistant coach Ali Johnstone, who was filling in for Fuchs. "The weather was challenging the last couple of days, but we really focused on paying attention to detail and that paid off today. We are looking forward to carrying that mindset over to tomorrow against Iowa."
After Thompson's score, the Wildcats afforded Pacific only one shot on goal giving freshman goalie Maddy Carpenter some breathing room by keeping the ball on Pacific's side of the pitch. As is usually the case, junior Chelsea Armstrong had a major impact on the Wildcat offense, spurred by her ability to move the ball in open space. Fewer than five minutes after Thompson's goal, Armstrong was fed a beautiful ball from Regan Mooney, who was falling down with a defender in her face as she moved it forward. Armstrong, already past Pacific's Ashlee Schlesier, slid the ball into the open cage, giving Northwestern the 2-0 advantage early.
Following a hard foul by Schlesier on Armstrong, sophomore Nikki Parsley
fired away a hard penalty stroke, but Schlesier was there in dramatic fashion to stop the potential goal, adding to her 13 total saves on the day. Following that, Northwestern kept the pressure cooker on Pacific, reeling off nine more shots to close out the half, but the Tigers held firm and stuffed any of the chances NU had to extend the lead.
Only one minute after the second half began, Parsley, always the tough-nosed player, muscled her way into the circle and deflected a hard shot by Armstrong into the cage, putting the `Cats up 3-0. Three more shots and a few penalty corners later, Parsley struck again, this time on her own, firing a laser beam of a shot into the net from atop the circle. The goal, her eighth of the season, gave Northwestern a nearly insurmountable 4-0 lead with 12 minutes remaining in the game.
Pacific entertained thoughts of scoring on NU down the stretch, but two crucial saves by Carpenter and a defensive team save left the Tigers hanging with the clock ticking away. For good measure, Armstrong scored her second goal of the day - and her Big Ten-leading 24th of the season - making the game permanently out of reach for the Tigers, leaving the 'Cats to take the game, 5-0, at home.
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