Despite dominating on the ball and applying pressure throughout the match, Nebraska soccer ultimately fell to Northwestern 1-0 on a goal from junior Madi Kennel in the 72nd minute.
Coming off a 2-0 win over Indiana, the Huskers began the game fast, applying pressure on Northwestern, pushing the ball up the pitch and working the ball in scoring opportunities. Senior forward Meg Brandt attributed the team’s new approach to a new focus during their practices.
“We really have been focusing on a harder press and going hard into tackles and putting the other team under pressure,” Brandt said. “We have struggled finishing and scoring so far this season so we have been trying to bring more on the attack and control the ball.”
Brandt exited the game in the 42nd minute of the first half after a knee-to-knee collision with a Northwestern defender.
“I had a bad collision with a girl and hit her knee straight on, it was scary hitting your knee like that but I was lucky with it being halftime in that I got to rest it and be able to come back in the second half.” Brandt said.
Brandt returned in the second half and had one of Nebraska’s two shots on goal from inside the box, although it was blocked by a Northwestern defender.
“I knew that we had the wind in the second half and I was trying to get further shots and get some more power on it, I just should have gotten it a little more to the left,” she said.
Despite falling in the match, senior defender Sinclaire Miramontez showed her defensive prowess with a clearance that saved a certain goal late in the second period which kept the game at 0-0. Miramontez applauded the team’s ability to dominate on the ball and feels that the team can take away positives.
“Last weekend in Indiana we struggled going into the wind and I feel this week we were able to play very well and keep possession and go at the other team,”she said. “That is the biggest takeaway for me, just knowing that we can keep possession and dominate on the ball as well as go at people.”
Northwestern was able to survive Nebraska’s aggressive attack by falling back on defense then throwing players forward on the counter attack. The Wildcats finally got their breakthrough in the 72nd minute as freshman Danika Austin found Kennel with a cross into the middle of the box, which she was able to tap in for the game’s only score.
“It was incredibly disappointing when you are able to control the ball and possess the ball as much as we did and create countless opportunities to score throughout and aren’t able to finish,” Miramontez said. “Unfortunately it all comes down to just one chance and one finish and they were able to put a good cross in and they were able to come out on top.”
Following the loss, the Huskers fall to 2-6-2 on the season and 1-2-0 in the Big Ten. Next up, they will stay home and host Illinois for an afternoon match at Hibner Field on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 1:05 p.m.