Oct. 31, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. -- No. 12 Northwestern brings its regular season to close Friday as it hosts Ohio State on Senior Day at Lakeside Field. The contest gets underway at 2 p.m. and is being televised live by Big Ten Network.
The team is recognizing five individuals in pregame cermonies: Maria Kovalchuk, Nikki Parsley, Tara Puffenberger, Julia Retzky and team manager Kaitlyn Williams.
NU (14-4, 4-1 Big Ten) comes into the final day of the regular season in contention to earn a share of the Big Ten regular season title. The Wildcats need to defeat the Buckeyes and have Penn State lose at Michigan later in the day. Northwestern is locked into being the No. 2 seed for next week's Big Ten tournament which gets underway Thursday in Columbus, Ohio.
At 4-1 in Big Ten play entering Friday's contest, Northwestern is seeking its best conference winning percentage since going 8-1-1 during the 1994 campaign. The Wildcats were 4-2 in league play a year ago.
The matchup versus Ohio State is the first home game for the Wildcats in 33 days. The team did not play a home game during the entire month of October, playing six straight games on the road. Northwestern's last home game was a 4-1 win over Michigan on Sept. 29.
The Wildcats enter the contest having won their last 14 home games. NU is 6-0 at Lakeside Field this season after going 7-0 a year ago as well as winning its final home game during the 2011 campaign.
Northwestern is coming off a pair of wins in the state of Michigan last weekend. The 'Cats defeated Michigan State 2-1 on Saturday as Isabel Flens scored the decisive goal with 6:16 remaining in regulation. NU followed up the win with a 2-0 victory at Central Michigan the following day as Dominique Masters scored a pair of first-half goals, helping her earn Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors for the second time this season.
Scouting Ohio State
The Buckeyes (5-11 0-5) have dropped four of their last five, including a 5-4 overtime shootout at home against Indiana last Saturday. Three of the team's conference losses have been by just one goal, including two in overtime. Sophomore forward Peanut Johnson leads Ohio State with nine goals and 19 points. Sarah Lemieux has a 2.82 goals-against average with a .617 save percentage in goal.
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