Huskers Ready for Road Tests at Badgers, Gophers
No. 22 Nebraska at Wisconsin
Date: Oct. 18
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Madison, Wisc.
Field: McClimon Soccer Complex
Live Stats: UWBadgers.com
Video: UWBadgers.com ($)
No. 22 Nebraska at Minnesota
Date: Oct. 20
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Minneapolis, Minn.
Field: Elizabeth Robbie Soccer Complex
Live Stats: GopherSports.com
Video: GopherSports.com ($)
The Huskers are prepared for its final regular-season road trip as the Big Ten title chase heats up with a pair of matches at Wisconsin this Friday, Oct. 18 and at Minnesota on Sunday, Oct. 20. Nebraska is currently alone at the top of the conference with a 5-1-0 record and showed up at No. 22 in Tuesday’s NSCAA Women’s Division I poll.
NU remained perfect on the road in the Big Ten last Friday with a 4-0 victory at Purdue. The Huskers stonewalled 20 shot attempts from the Boilers while the Scarlet and Cream caught fire offensively in the second half netting all four tallies in a 25-minute span.
Huskers Opportunistic on Offense
The 22nd-ranked Huskers (10-3-1, 5-1-0 Big Ten) positioned themselves alone at the top of the Big Ten standings with five matches remaining.
- In conference play, Nebraska’s 13 scores are second-best in the league at 2.17 goals per match.
- NU currently possesses the 35th-ranked scoring offense in all of Division I Women’s Soccer
- The Scarlet and Cream offense has produced goals in 11 consecutive matches for the first time since 2006 and 2004. The longest streak prior to that was in 2002 with 14 straight.
- In 2013, the Huskers are the only Big Ten school to have four players (Jackson, Johnson, Conroy, Kraeutner) record five or more goals with three of those players (Conroy, Jackson and Kraeutner) recording three goals each in conference play.
- Nebraska is also one of five league teams to have five players score three or more goals.
- The Huskers have been outshot in its last five conference matches but the defensive unit has stepped up and kept the opposition at bay en route to the fine start, matching its highest conference win total (5) since 2009 and 2010.
- In Big Ten action, NU has been outshot 103-81 and are tied in on-target attempts at 33, while the NU defense has been impressive on its way to a 13-6 advantage on the scoreboard.
- NU has yet to allow a score in the first period of conference matches, holding a 5-0 margin in the first 45 minutes of action.
- Nebraska owns an 8-6 edge in the second half conference matches.
- The Huskers have scored 21 of its 31 goals this season in the second half
Stevens, Defense Throwing Bones at the Opposition
Nebraska’s back line of defense has stood up to the task as they have prevented opponents from capitalizing on chances and running the ball up to the forwards on attack.
- NU senior goalkeeper Emma Stevens earned her 28th career victory in net after her season-high seven saves on Friday notched her career-best 10th win of the year.
- Stevens, who has amassed 233 career saves, is just six stops shy of former Husker keeper Erin Miller (239) for the all-time mark.
- Stevens, the graduate student, sits second in four goalkeeper categories: saves, minutes (5,318), starts (59) and games played (62).
- The ‘Blackshirts’ have been doing a nice job defending corner kicks so far, as B1G foes have earned 35 chances to just 17 for the Huskers.
- Seniors Ari Romero, Maritza Hayes and Kylie Greischar along with sophomore Jaylyn Odermann have keyed the NU defense with all four of them playing extensive minutes the last few weeks.
Scouting Wisconsin (RPI: 39, Bennett: 17)
Friday’s matchup with the Badgers will be the sixth meeting between the two programs, with the Huskers owning a 3-1-1 series lead. Last season, Nebraska earned an overtime road victory when Mayme Conroy struck in the 91st minute from 20 yards out to lift NU to a 3-2 victory. The Huskers are 2-0 all-time in Madison and will make the trip to the McClimon Complex for the second-straight season.
Wisconsin (8-3-2, 3-2-1 Big Ten) is coming off a 3-2 loss at Illinois for its first road defeat of the year. The Badgers, ranked No. 5 in the Great Lakes Regional, are receiving votes in the latest NSCAA poll and have allowed just 16 goals in 13 matches.
The Badgers feature a young and talented group led by sophomore midfielder Kinley McNicoll’s conference-leading 10 assists along with six goals for 22 points, the fourth-best total in the Big Ten. Two of Wisconsin’s top-three goal scorers are underclassmen with the other being junior Cara Wells’ seven tallies and three helpers, including four game-winning scores.
Redshirt junior Genevieve Richard has been strong in net playing all but 24 minutes on her way to an 8-2-1 mark with a 1.13 goals-against average making 54 stops.
Scouting Minnesota (RPI: 21, Bennett: 39)
Sunday’s Senior Day tilt with the Gophers at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium be the eighth meeting between the two clubs, with the Huskers posting a 5-2 series advantage. However, since joining the Big Ten, Nebraska is 0-2 against Minnesota after a 4-2 home loss last season. The Huskers have only made a pair of trips to Minneapolis with the other coming in 2000 with a 4-0 NU win.
Minnesota (9-4-1, 2-3-1 Big Ten) has held the opposition to just 12 goals through 14 matches on their way to six combined shutouts. The Gophers are unbeaten at home going 6-0-1 and, prior to Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Northwestern, Minnesota had shut out three consecutive Big Ten opponents, including 1-0 wins over Michigan and Penn State.
Junior Katie Thyken heads the Minnesota attack as the midfielder as tallied a team-high five goals, while freshman Josee Stiever’s three scores and two game-winning goals is second best on the squad. Ten different Gophers have found the back of the net this season. The Gophers are ranked No. 8 in the Great Lakes Regional.
Jackson Hitting Her Stride
Jordan Jackson was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week as announced by the conference office on Monday after she became the first player in the Big Ten this season to put together a five-point performance. Jackson accumulated her five points with one goal and three assists in the 4-0 win at Purdue on Friday night as the Huskers positioned themselves alone at the top of the Big Ten standings with five matches remaining.
Friday night’s output marked the fifth time Jackson has amassed five points in a single match during her career. Jackson’s 31st career tally moved the senior into solo eighth place among all-time Husker goal scorers, while her 25 assists also rank eighth in program history.
The Overland Park, Kan. native recorded three assists in the road victory for the second time in her career at Nebraska and is the fifth Husker to have three second-half helpers. The two-time all-conference honoree is 17th Husker to earn at least three assists in one match.
Jackson has earned a point in eight of her last 11 matches and is tied for second in conference matches with 10 points. Jackson is also sixth in shots (244), seventh in shots on goal (122) and 10th in points (87) all-time at NU.
Leading at the Break?
Nebraska is 202-5-5 all-time (.964) when leading at the half. In 26 all-time Big Ten Conference games, the Huskers have led at the half just seven times, but are 4-0 this year in the conference holding leads.
Big Ten Conference Standings
Through games of Thursday, Oct. 17.