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    'Cats Face First Big Ten Road Test In No. 25 Penn State, Ohio State

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Nicole Duller and the 'Cats hit the road for the first time in conference play.
    Nicole Duller and the 'Cats hit the road for the first time in conference play.

    Oct. 2, 2008

    Women's Soccer Game Notes (at Penn State/at Ohio State) Get Acrobat Reader

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- After splitting its first two Big Ten contests last weekend, Northwestern (6-4-1, 1-1) will hit the road for the first time in conference play to face 25th-ranked Penn State (6-5, 1-0) and Ohio State (4-4-2, 1-0). The 'Cats take on the 10-time defending Big Ten champion Nittany Lions at 6 p.m. Friday before facing the Buckeyes at 2 p.m. Sunday.

    On the Web
    Gametracker will be available for Friday's match against Penn State. Live stats and live video will be available for Sunday's match against Ohio State. Those features can be accessed from Ohio State's homepage

    Scouting Penn State
    25th-ranked Penn State enters the weekend with a 6-5 overall record and a 1-0 mark in conference. The Nittany Lions opened conference season with a 1-0 win over Indiana in Bloomington and have faced two top-five teams in No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 3 Portland. Danielle Toney leads Penn State in points (15), goals (5) and assists (5). Both Katie Schoepfer and Nikki Watts have four goals on the year. In goal, Alyssa Naeher has started nine games and played the bulk of the minutes, although Krissy Tribbett has started a game and appeared in three. Naeher has a 1.67 GAA and has made 50 saves. Penn State has won the past 10 Big Ten titles.

    Scouting Ohio State
    Ohio State enters the weekend with a 1-0 mark in conference with their win coming against Indiana in Bloomington, 1-0. The Buckeyes' first win of the season came in their seventh contest, a 3-1 win over Evansville on Sept. 19. Lisa Collison leads the team in goals with four and points with 10. Ashley Bowyer paces OSU in assists with four on the year. In goal, Lauren Robertson has started all 10 games and has 43 saves to go with a 1.33 GAA.

    Series Information
    Penn State leads the all-time series 14-2-0. The Wildcats have played tough against the Nittany Lions in the Stephanie Erickson era, falling 3-1 at home in the last meeting after taking a one-goal lead. Ohio State leads the all-time series over the Wildcats, 7-6-1. Northwestern has won the last two meetings, taking an overtime contest in Columbus in 2006 and a 2-0 win in 2007.

    Last Time Out
    Goalkeeper Carolyn Edwards made seven saves--including several from close range -- Friday night at Lakeside Field, but the Purdue Boilermakers used a goal with less than two minutes to go to top the Wildcats in their Big Ten opener, 1-0. Sunday, senior Jeanette Lorme's header goal off a corner kick in the 26th minute proved to be the game-winner as the Wildcats upset No. 17 Illinois at Lakeside Field, 1-0. Edwards was stellar between the pipes, again stopping several close-range shots in the second half. Sam Greene was a constant nuisance to the Illini defense, firing three shots and serving as the catalyst for NU's goal in the 26th minute.

    Senior Getting The Job Dunn
    Senior Jenny Dunn's assist on Jeanette Lorme's game-winning goal against Illinois was her fifth of the season and the 15th of her career and puts her in a third-place tie with head coach Stephanie Erickson on NU's all-time list. With 15 career goals, Dunn is the `Cats' active leader in the category. She is one goal from cracking NU's top-10. With 45 career points, Dunn sits eighth on NU's all-time points list.

    First Time In A Long Time
    Although the Wildcats have played many close contests with in-state foe Illinois, Sunday's win over the 17th-ranked Illini marked the first win for NU over Illinois since 1998. NU recorded three ties in that span including a scoreless tie last season. The last time the `Cats defeated Illinois, NU won six conference games and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament.

    Hoffman Wearing A New Hat
    Senior Amanda Hoffman entered the season with zero goals and only one assist through three seasons on the Wildcats. She has turned into a major offensive contributor in her senior season and leads the Wildcats in both goals (5) and points (10). Hoffman, who has started all 11 games, led the Wildcats back from a 2-0 deficit with a three-goal hat trick against DePaul. The hat trick marked the first for the `Cats since 2004. Hoffman has been economical with her opportunities as well, recording five goals on seven shots on goal.

    Distributing the Wealth
    With Jeanette Lorme's goal on Sunday, eight different Wildcats have scored goals and 12 `Cats have notched points on 18 total goals. 11 Wildcats have at least one assist on the season out of 22 total helpers. Senior Amanda Hoffman leads the way with 10 points (5g, 0a). Jenny Dunn (2g, 4a) and Sam Greene (2g, 4a) are right behind her with nine points each. Alicia Herczeg has seven (2g, 3a) while Laura Janowitsch (2g, 1a), Emily Langston (2g, 1a) each have five.

    Goals From the Back Line
    Senior defender Laura Janowitsch has used her senior season to break into the goal-scoring column. Janowitsch scored a goal from a free kick near midfield in NU's season-opening win over Nebraska for her first-career goal. The defender scored the game-winner for the Wildcats in their 3-2 overtime win over Pepperdine.

    For Northwestern's complete weekly game notes, click the .pdf link above.