Site: Lakeside Field (Evanston, Ill.) Score: No. 12 Marquette 2, Northwestern 0 Records: NU (2-2-0), MU (3-0-0) Next NU Event: Sunday, Sept. 2 - vs. Colorado - Lakeside Field, 1 p.m.
EVANSTON, Ill. - Northwestern hosted its 2012 home opener Friday at Lakeside Field and battled against the 12th-ranked team in the country, Marquette. The Golden Eagles scored a goal in each half, leaving as the 2-0 victors.
It was Northwestern's first match against a ranked opponent this season as the team is now 2-2-0 on the year while Marquette improves to 3-0-0.
The Wildcats played without three key members of their starting lineup Friday night, missing sophomore midfielder Niki Sebo, freshman defender Natalie Cikos and sophomore goalkeeper Anna Cassell.
"We knew Marquette was going to be a very strong opponent, we are very familiar with them, and we knew we were also going to be a little shorthanded playing without three key starters for us," Northwestern head coach Michael Moynihan said. "We came into tonight's game with a little bit of a defensive mentality. We wanted to try to keep the game close, wanted to congest the midfield and the area in front of the goal. and not give up many chances."
Freshman Rachel Bergman made her first career start in net for the Wildcats in place of Cassell. Bergman made three saves before the Golden Eagles scored their first goal in the 24th minute. Ally Miller tallied her third goal of the year, sending in a shot off the corner kick by Maegan Kelly.
The NU defense also stayed busy in the first half, blocking four shots.
After a 13-1 shot disparity in the first half, Northwestern evened things up in the second as MU had the slight 5-4 edge. NU's best opportunities of the night came in the 71st minute as KK Barr fired off a shot from the left side that was blocked by an Marquette defender. Kiltie Finsand was there on the rebound but goalkeeper Sofie Schunk was there for the save.
"I was very happy with the second-half performance," Moynihan said. "Our team wanted to come out, they wanted to attack and they wanted to compete. We kind of held them back a little bit in the first half and in the second half, I thought we showed very well for ourselves. We're a young team and again, playing without three starters, I thought we went toe-to-toe with a team that's ranked 12th in the country and we did very well."
MU's second goal of the evening came in the 72nd minute as Megan Jaskowiak tallied her first goal of the year off another assist by Kelly.