Oct. 18, 2012
Site: Illinois Soccer Field (Champaign, Ill.)
Score: Northwestern – 2, Illinois - 1
Records: NU (5-10-2, 1-8-0 B1G), Illinois (7-7-2, 4-4-1 B1G)
Next NU Event: Sunday, Sept. 21 – vs. Iowa – Lakeside Field – 2:30 p.m. – Senior Day
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Northwestern staged a dramatic comeback in Champaign, Ill., Thursday night against the Illini. Trailing 1-0 for much of the match, sophomore midfielder/forward Georgia Waddle tallied the equalizer with exactly nine minutes remaining and junior forward Kate Allen converted a penalty kick with just four seconds showing on the clock to give the ’Cats the 2-1 victory.
“I thought tonight’s game was a great example of why you keep playing until the end,” Northwestern head coach Michael Moynihan
said. “I thought in the first half we generated some really quality chances and we were threatening, yet we’re kind of in the same position we’ve been in, being down a goal off of a penalty kick. We kept battling and we kept clawing our way back. I thought we had a nice goal in transition with Georgia’s score and then Kate stepped up and nailed the PK with four seconds left. It was a fantastic finish and I think shows a lot about the character of the team. They’re playing for pride, they’re playing for the future of our program and I thought they made a great statement about their character today.”
Illinois had the 1-0 lead for much of the match, converting a penalty kick in the 17th minute, but the Wildcats battled right down to the final seconds. Waddle tied things up for the ’Cats at 81:00 with her fourth goal of the season, shortly after entering the game at 79:55. Junior forward Bo Podkopacz sent the ball over from the left side of the box and Illinois keeper Steph Panozzo came out to attempt to make the save. She was unable to stop the ball and Waddle got past Panozzo and was able to slide one in near the goal line for the score.
The Illini put pressure on the ’Cats after that with six shots in the final minutes, but were unable to convert. With the clock winding down, Northwestern had a final opportunity to end the game in regulation. Waddle set up the eventual game-winner with a throw-in deep in Illini territory with about 20 seconds left. NU had two shots that were deflected and then Illinois was whistled for a handball in the box with just four seconds remaining in the game.
Allen stepped up for the ’Cats and sent a low shot to the bottom right corner of the net to score her team-leading seventh goal of the season and send NU back to Evanston with the 2-1 victory.
Allen led the way for Northwestern with four of the team’s 14 shots and all four were on goal. The Wildcats finished with seven shots on goal, two of which went in.
Sophomore goalkeeper Anna Cassell battled through the Illini attack all night and made six saves, five in the second half. Panozzo had five saves.
Both teams were an even 2-2 on corner kicks.
Northwestern heads back to Lakeside Field Sunday to host the final regular-season home match of 2012. The Wildcats will host Iowa at 2:30 p.m. and be sure to arrive early to recognize Meredith Finsand, Jessica Rubin and Bri Westlund for Senior Day.
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