Photo by Pat Radigan
65′ – NW – Stahlschmidt (1)
Story by Pat Radigan
Nebraska’s postseason fate hangs in the balance with the loss
In a game crucial for Nebraska’s place in the Big Ten standings, Northwestern held on for a 1-0 win after a second half goal doomed the Huskers to just their second loss in conference play.
Husker keeper Aubrei Corder blocked the initial attempt from Northwestern off a set piece, but the ball bounced into the path of Kayleigh Stahlschmidt, whose first career goal proved to be the only score of the game. Nebraska applied pressure throughout the game, and was able to control the ball as the Huskers pushed for an equalizer.
It just wouldn’t come, though, as a physical Northwestern back line held Nebraska scoreless for the third straight meeting between the two sides.
After a 0-0 draw in the quarterfinals, Northwestern eliminated the Huskers from last year’s Big Ten tournament in a shootout after the two sides played to a similar draw in last year’s regular season matchup. The first 45 minutes held true to the script, but it would be the Wildcats that found a rewrite in the second half to sneak away with all three points.
Senior Haley Hanson had four shots for Nebraska, but was unable to steer any of them on goal as the Wildcats limited her options. Northwestern’s Lauren Clem came up with three saves in the win, and made her presence known throughout the game as Nebraska tried to attack the box with long balls.
Nebraska finished with 8 shots and 4 corner kicks, had a majority of possession and got a couple of key saves by keeper Aubrei Corder to stay in the game.
The one thing they could not come up with was an equalizer.
The loss pushed Northwestern into a tie for third place in the Big Ten standings with Minnesota, and assures Nebraska of a road matchup should the Huskers qualify for the conference tournament. Nebraska sits tied with Purdue for the No. 7 spot in the standings, with the top eight teams qualifying for the Big Ten tournament.
Nebraska and Purdue are tied with 14 points, and sit 2 points ahead of 9th place Michigan and 3 ahead of Iowa.
The Huskers will host Minnesota for Senior Night on Wednesday, and will need to get a result against the Gophers to guarantee a spot in the conference tournament. Michigan plays at Rutgers, who is currently 5th in the Big Ten, while Iowa travels to take on Illinois.