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    'Cats Search for Third Straight Win Friday at Minnesota

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Freshman Briana Westlund is one of five Minnesotans on the Northwestern roster.
    Freshman Briana Westlund is one of five Minnesotans on the Northwestern roster.

    Oct. 29, 2009

    Women's Soccer Game Notes (10/29) Get Acrobat Reader

    The Weekend
    Northwestern looks to equal its longest winning streak of the season Friday night as the Wildcats take on Minnesota at 7 p.m. CT. NU brings a two-match winning streak into the Big Ten battle, its only game of the weekend.

    Scouting the Gophers
    Minnesota enters the weekend in fourth place in the Big Ten standings, with a 3-3-2 conference record. The Gophers are winless in their last four matches, dating back to a 1-0 victory over Purdue on Oct. 11. Katie Bethke has scored 27 points (11 goals, five assists) to lead the Gophers offensively, while goalkeeper Cat Parkhill's 0.78 goals-against average ranks among conference leaders.

    Series Information
    Minnesota leads the all-time series, 11-6-1, including a pair of wins over the 'Cats in 2008. The Gophers won a 2-0 regular season decision in Minneapolis, then added a 3-1 victory in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. Northwestern's last victory in the series was a 1-0 victory at Minnesota in 2006, Stephanie Erickson's first season at the helm of her alma mater.

    Catching the 'Cats
    Fans can follow Friday's action with Live Stats on the Gophers' website, A streaming video feed is also available for a subscription fee.

    Last Time Out
    Jessica Palo's goal 1:25 into overtime lifted Northwestern to a 2-1 win at Iowa last Thursday, evening the 'Cats Big Ten record at 3-3-1. Palo's tally was her second goal of the season and first game-winner of her career. Despite steady rain and blustery conditions, NU goalkeeper Carolyn Edwards made a career-high nine saves in the victory. Northwestern was the beneficiary of an Iowa own-goal in the first half, created when freshman Briana Westlund served a free kick from just inside midfield into the penalty box, where it glanced off a defender and into the net.

    A Northern Homecoming
    Friday's match serves as a homecoming for the five Minnesotans on Northwestern's roster, all of whom hail from the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Included in that group is Westlund, whose hometown of Cottage Grove, Minn., will host a community day at Robbie Stadium for the game. Beyond Westlund, Kelsey Bertamus (Burnsville), Meredith Finsand (Edina), Alison Schneeman (St. Paul) and Grace Weitz (Golden Valley) are also from the Gopher State.