Sept. 14, 2012
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Lakeside Field)
Score: Nebraska 2, Northwestern 0
Records: NU (4-3-1, 0-1-0 Big Ten), Nebraska (4-4-0, 1-0-0)
Next NU Event: Sunday, Sept. 16 at Oakland Noon CT
EVANSTON, Ill. -- On a perfect night for soccer at Lakeside Field, Northwestern generated several quality scoring opportunities but ultimately dropped its Big Ten Conference-opener to Nebraska, 2-0, Friday evening. Junior forward Kate Allen led the 'Cats with three shots on offense while sophomore netminder Anna Cassell tied a season high with six saves between the pipes.
The loss snapped a three-game unbeaten streak for NU.
Northwestern's best early chance came when the Wildcats earned back-to-back corner kicks just over 10 minutes into the contest, but NU's efforts to get a head to Nicole Jewell's crosses came up short both times.
Nebraska broke the scoreless tie at the midway point of the opening half on a goal by senior Jordan Jackson. Jackson dribbled her way into the penalty area on the right side of the box, where she lofted a shot toward the far post. NU's Cassell got one hand to the ball but could not parry it over the crossbar as the ball dropped inside the far post at the 20:31 mark of the first half.
The visitors kept momentum on their side with nine total first-half shots, drawing three saves by Cassell in the first 45 minutes. The Wildcats nearly found the answer with 4:30 to play before halftime as junior Bo Podkopacz beat Nebraska goalie Emma Stevens to a loose ball in the box. From her extremely acute angle on the end line, Podkopacz played a centering ball across the goal mouth, but the Wildcats were unable to get on the receiving end.
Northwestern came out of halftime with an offensive mindset and created two solid scoring chances in the opening 10 minutes. First a cross from the left side of the box found an open Wildcat on the far post, but NU's first-touch attempt jumped over the crossbar.
Minutes later, Kate Allen
broke through the Nebraska back line in an onside position and placed a shot on the run toward the left post, which trickled just wide of the target.
Cassell was up to the task when called upon in the second half, laying out for a save at the 24-minute mark off a diving header by Nebraska's goal-scorer Jordan Jackson. But two minutes later the Huskers added to their lead when Jackson picked out Mayme Conroy in the middle of box, with Conroy finishing from six yards out.
Northwestern continued to press forward on the attack in the final 20 minutes but could not solve the Nebraska defense. Both teams finished with four corner kicks on the evening, while the Huskers recorded 16 shots to the Wildcats' seven.
The Wildcats step back out of conference on Sunday, traveling to face Oakland at noon CT in Rochester, Mich.
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