Huskers Outlast Wildcats for Fifth Straight Win, 2-1
Evanston, Ill. - The Nebraska soccer team extended its win streak to five games for the first time since 2010 as the Husker defense withstood a second-half Northwestern surge to pick up the first road victory of the year Friday night in Evanston, 2-1. Through ten matches, Nebraska's seventh win of the season matches last year's total as the Huskers are clicking on both ends of the pitch.
The Wildcats (2-6-2, 0-2-0 B1G) came out strong in the first half, but the Huskers (7-2-1, 2-0-0 B1G) capitalized on a corner kick opportunity at the 20:01 mark for the 1-0 edge when Caroline Gray earned her first point of the year as she found Katie Kraeutner who beat the Northwestern keeper from 18 yards out. The tally was Kraeutner's third score of the year and fourth of her career.
The Big Red went up 2-0 in the 37th minute of action as Jordan Jackson found the back of the net on a low shot from the box past the Wildcat keeper for the 2-0 advantage. Jackson's 29th career score, which moves her into a tie for ninth all-time at Nebraska with Kelly Rheem, came on an assist from freshman Sydney Miramontez.
The first-half statistics showed a dead heat between the two squads, with both teams recording six shot attempts, while the Huskers owned a 3-2 edge over the Wildcats. The play was physical during the first 45 minutes with Nebraska posting five fouls to Northwestern's four.
Northwestern made a run during the first portion of the second half and outshot Nebraska 8-0 during the first 13 minutes. The Wildcats pulled within one at the 58:39 mark when Kate Allen converted on a penalty kick with a low shot to the right side of the net.
Nebraska had its hand full throughout the second half as the Wildcats brought more pressure in an effort to tie it up. However, the NU defense, along with goalkeeper Emma Stevens, came up with big stops down the stretch and earned a hard-fought 2-1 road victory despite being outshot 24-10, including 18-4 in the second half.
NU's Stevens earned her seventh win of the year making six saves, her second highest single-game total of the year. Four Nebraska defenders (Ari Romero, Jaylyn Odermann, Maritza Hayes and Kylie Greischar) played all 90 minutes of action as they were tested throughout the second half and especially down the stretch as Northwestern attempted to tie the match.
Mayme Conroy led the Huskers with three shot attempts, while Jaycie Johnson, Jackson and Kraeutner each posted a pair of shots in the conference road win as Nebraska moved to 2-0 in the Big Ten.
Nebraska entered the week at No. 20 in the first NCAA RPI rankings of 2013, No. 4 in the NSCAA Great Lakes Regional Rankings and just outside the Top 25 in the coaches poll, receiving 24 votes in 29th position.
The Huskers will be back in action against Illinois in Champaign, Ill. this Sunday, Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. Follow live stats at FightingIllini.com.