If you were concerned that Northwestern might not be up to the challenge after a simple meeting schedule, now those worries are gone. The Wildcats defeated Denver in a dominant way and did not allow a single goal in the second half on the way to the 19-4 win.
NU got off to a quick start and won the first draw control, but turned it around after just a few seconds in offensive play. The Cats defense had the stop but junior striker Izzy Scane fell to the ground for a turnover and Denver turned him down and scored to take an early lead.
After giving up on that goal, NU came back strong. The pioneers had a chance in their zone and junior goalkeeper Madison Doucette saved. Senior midfielder Brennan Dwyer scored the first goal for the Cats on the other end, and from then on NU started rolling. Graduated attacker Sammy Mueller got the next one from a vacant position and Scane hit the transition right after the next draw control.
Both teams went cold for a while after that quick breakout, but the Cats never let Denver in again. Sophomore forward Dylan Amonte scored her first goal of the day from a goal in a vacant position and Scane added another to make it 5-1.
Denver finally scored its second goal about 20 minutes later. Doucette’s aggressive goalkeeping style helped NU take control of the draw and second attacker Erin Coykendall scored in the vacant position. Sammy Mueller got another one and then Izzy Scane added one. Lauren Gilbert added a vacant position target. Denver met right at the end of the first.
In the first half the pioneers received four yellow cards and the second half started with the first from NU to Müller. Despite this opportunity, Denver failed to score and the Cats just kept going. In the second half, they added 10 goals and limited the Pioneers to virtually no time in their offensive zone.
1. To draw Controls keep NU ahead
Jill Girardi won eight draw controls in the first half. These draws helped NU extend crucial ball possession time and keep Denver without a goal for nearly 20 minutes while scoring five goals. In the second half Girardi again dominated the circle and prevented the Pioneers from having a significant offensive time for almost the entire first fifteen minutes.
2. Scane sets program record for goals in one season
Scane led the game by eight goals, setting the record for a season’s goalscoring program, taking it to 89. In her first game since being named Tewaaraton Trophy finalist, Scane showed her skills with a tremendous performance, including five goals in a row in the second half to push Denver away for good.
3. Northwestern’s defense and goalie are strong, but the best defense is more offensive
Doucette made important saves in the first half in the transition and in shots at the free position, and the NU defense kept the pioneers off the board for the most part in the first half. But they didn’t have to do anything in the second round as Girardi dominated the draw control and the cats continued to score goals. NU were astute when Denver got some chances towards the end of the half but otherwise didn’t have much to do at all on the road to a one-sided win.
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