Lincoln - The Nebraska soccer team notched a win in the first ever Big Ten Conference event for the University of Nebraska with a 3-1 victory over Northwestern at the Nebraska Soccer Field on Sunday afternoon. Junior Morgan Marlborough made her conference debut in dramatic style with her second hat trick of the season and the fourth of her career. She also became just the fourth Husker in school history to score 50 or more goals in a career and now sits third on Nebraska's career list with 51 goals, trailing Christine Latham (69) and Kim Engesser (53).
With the win, Nebraska improved to 4-3-1 on the season and 1-0-0 in the Big Ten. The Huskers are now 8-0-0 when opening conference play at home and are 15-1-0 in conference openers overall. John Walker's squad also improved its all-time record against Big Ten teams to 17-5-2.
Marlborough got the Huskers on the board at 14:46 when fellow junior Jordan Jackson earned her fifth assist on the season by putting the ball into the box and then Marlborough did the rest. The Lee's Summit, Mo., native got by two Northwestern defends before pulling the goalie away from the net for a chip shot to put NU up 1-0. Marlborough and the Huskers added a second goal less than 10 minutes later when senior Katie Goetzmann booted a perfect ball from 40 yards out to senior Molly Thomas, who setup a cross that was deflected in by Marlborough.
Down 2-0 at halftime, the Wildcats came out more aggressive in the second half, but couldn't break the Husker defense and goalie Emma Stevens, who had five saves on the day.
Northwestern got a break at 59:52 when Stacy Bartels was called for a handball in the box, resulting in a penalty kick for the Wildcats. Briana Westlund setup the kick perfectly and put the ball in the back of the net to cut Nebraska's lead in half with 30 minutes to go in regulation.
The Huskers stayed composed and sealed the victory at 76:10 with Marlborough's third goal of the game. The 2010 All-American cut through the Wildcat defense and nearly put the shot too high, but it hit the crossbar at just the right angle to drop in.
Nebraska will now hit the road for a pair of conference games in the state of Indiana. The Huskers will meet Purdue on Friday, Sept. 23, at 6 p.m. (CT) in West Lafayette, Ind., before traveling to Bloomington, Ind., for a Noon game on Sunday, Sept. 25, against Indiana. Sunday's game is schedule to be shown live on BTN.com.