Oct. 25, 2012
Northwestern (6-10-2, 2-8-0 B1G)
at Michigan State (8-8-2, 2-7-1)
Saturday, Oct. 27 • Noon CT
DeMartin Soccer Stadium
East Lansing, Mich.
Live Stats: Gametracker
The 2012 season officially comes to a close Saturday for Northwestern. The Wildcats wrap up the 2012 campaign on the road, taking on Michigan State in East Lansing at noon CT.
Last Time Out
Northwestern hosted its final home match of the regular season last Sunday afternoon at Lakeside Field and sent seniors Bri Westlund, Meredith Finsand and Jessica Rubin out in style, recording the 1-0 victory over Iowa. The Wildcats tallied the winning goal in the 86th minute to record their second Big Ten win in as many matches. Freshman defender Jennifer Korn set up the goal, sending a pass from the far left side across the box to the far post where sophomore midfielder Niki Sebo was positioned perfectly on the right side of the net for the goal. She sent a header from inside the 6-yard box into the far post past Clark, tallying her fourth goal of the season.
Northwestern went 2-0 last week and won both of those matches in dramatic fashion. Northwestern trailed for much of its match against Illinois last Thursday after surrendering an early penalty kick. The ’Cats battled until the end though and with exactly nine minutes to play, NU sophomore midfielder/forward Georgia Waddle tallied the equalizer. The frantic finish to regulation saw Illinois whistled for a handball in the box, which set up a penalty kick for the Wildcats with just four seconds to play. Junior forward Kate Allen’s calmly sent a low shot past the Illini keeper to secure the 2-1 road victory for Northwestern.
NU then kept things dramatic Sunday against the Hawkeyes, breaking a 0-0 tie in the 86th minute with Sebo’s goal.
With their wins against Illinois and Iowa, Northwestern won back-to-back Big Ten matches for the first time since 2009.
Alyinovich Tabbed B1G Defensive Player of the Week
Northwestern sophomore defender Jackie Alyinovich was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. Northwestern surrendered just one goal in 180 minutes last week, and that came when Alyinovich and the NU defense were not on the field. The lone score came off a penalty kick but Alyinovich and the NU backline had a busy week, defending 31 Illinois shot attempts on Thursday and another 12 by Iowa on Sunday.
Her play helped Northwestern go 2-0 last week with both victories coming in Big Ten play. Alyinovich has been a constant presence in the NU backfield this season, starting all 18 matches and playing 1,619 of a possible 1,664 minutes.
One Win Away
Northwestern head coach Michael Moynihan is just one win away from career victory No. 200 and has a chance to reach that milestone Saturday against the Spartans. The 16-year head coaching veteran has a 199-94-40 (.658) career record. Assistant coach David Nikolic also is searching for his 200th career victory as he has been coaching alongside Moynihan for the last 16 years.
Northwestern saw its numbers improve in a number of categories compared to the 2011 season. NU averaged 1.00 goal a game this season, an improvement over last year’s 0.68 average. Defensively, the ’Cats also saw a steady progression. Last year, NU allowed 2.32 goals per game and dropped that down to 1.56 goals per game in 2012. Here’s a look at how the numbers compare from 2011 to 2012.
Scouting Michigan State
The Spartans are also playing their final match of 2012 on Saturday. MSU has an 8-8-2 overall record and is 2-7-1 in conference action. The Spartans recorded Big Ten wins against Purdue (2-1, OT) and Nebraska (2-1) and tied Iowa but have struggled lately, losing their last five conference matches. Olivia Stander does it all for MSU as she leads the squad in goals (five), assists (10) and points (20). Courtney Clem has seen a majority of the minutes in net, starting all 18 matches and posts a 1.11 goals-against average.
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