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Sept. 20, 2005
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern pushed its winning streak to six matches after shuting out Valparaiso, 2-0 on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at the Thomas Athletic Complex. The Wildcats improve to 7-1-0 on the season, their best start since 1998. The Crusaders drop to 5-3, 1-0.
Northwestern fired on Valpo netminder Erin Murray early and often, recording nine shots on goal in the first half. Murray made several spectacular saves, but it was only a matter of time before the Wildcats found the net.
"I really can't complain about scoring early," said head coach Jenny Haigh. "But it is a long game, and sometimes we get a little to comfortable out there. But today, I thought we did a good job creating chances throughout."
NU's first chance-turned-goal came when senior Tabitha Lowey (Peach Tree City, Ga./Mcintosh) headed a rebound fired by freshman Jeanette Lorme (Santa Clarita, Calif./Saugus) into the back of the net. The shot rebounded off the top of the goal and Lowey punched it in at the 22:13 mark. It was the forward's fourth goal on the season
The Wildcats continued to pressure the Crusaders and once again, Lorme had a hand in Northwestern's next score. She fed fellow freshman Jenny Dunn (Pacific Palisades, Calif./Louisville) to the middle of the box, about 12 yards out. Dunn's shot darted past Murray into the bottom left corner at 35:41 to push NU's lead to 2-0.
"Jenny (Dunn) played outstanding today," said Haigh. "She was all over the field, winning balls and passing."
Northwestern's defense held the Crusaders to just three shots on goal the entire match. Junior Whitney Jones (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West) recorded her third shut out of the season.
Not only did the victory extend NU's winning streak, but perhaps more importantly, it continued to inflate the squad's confidence heading into the Big Ten opener against Illinois on Friday. Additionally, the Wildcats are ranked No. 25 in this week's Soccer Buzz
Rankings, something that has not happened since 1999.
"The win was definitely a confidence-builder for us," said Haigh. "We have momentum on our side. Illinois will challenge us in very different ways, including team defense. I'd like to see us create more opportunities; to be ball-winners."
Friday's match is set for 7 p.m. in Champaign, Ill.