The Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Northwestern Wildcats met on a chilly Thursday evening at Martin Stadium in Evanston, Illinois on the shores of Lake Michigan. Northwestern entered the match atop the Big Ten rankings at 3-0, with their highest ranking in program history, sitting at No. 8 nationally. With each team in pursuit of a Big Ten championship, the 3 points awarded to the winner were crucial.
The Wildcats started off quick, scoring in the 9th minute on a goal off of a beautiful header by Aurea del Carmen from an Ella Hase pass. As we have seen in recent games, Rutgers got off to a slow start and then started to settle in and control more of the play as the Wildcats were unable to threaten after their early goal. The Knights, unfortunately, were unable to solve a stout Northwestern back defensive line and the teams would enter halftime with the Wildcats up 1-0. Each squad only took 3 shots in the opening half.
The Knights came out of the locker room energized and with purpose, tying up the match less than three minutes in on Allison’s Lowrey’s 7th goal of the season off a nicely played ball by Sara Brocious.
The action in the 2nd half was in stark contrast to a plodding first half, with both teams in attack mode, and pushing the ball down the field with urgency. Northwestern had multiple opportunities to take the lead at home and grab those 3 points but Knights keeper Meagan McClelland would have none of it.
In the 54th minute, McClelland made a diving stop off a redirected header and then in the 65th minute, she made back-to-back saves. The first was a dramatic kick-save at the goal line and the second was off the rebound shot from 10 yards out. Truly breathtaking, stellar play from the graduate student.
puɐllǝlƆɔW uɐƃɐǝW pic.twitter.com/f6FHhHeptl— RUTGERS WOMEN’S SOCCER (@RUWSoccer) September 30, 2022
It was raining shots in the second half with NU taking 11 and RU 7. The Wildcats mustered one last, furious attempt to grab the lead and 3 points but McClelland made her final save with ease with under a minute remaining.
The Knights move to (10-1-1, 2-1-1) and earned a Big Ten point on the road. Northwestern is now (9-1-2, 3-0-1).
(courtesy Rutgers Athletics)
Rutgers played its first Top 10 matchup in the regular season since Oct. 9, 2009.
The match was Rutgers’ third against a ranked opponent over the last four matches.
The tie marks Rutgers first draw under the NCAA’s new overtime rules. It was the first draw for Rutgers in a regular season match since a 1-1 tie with Michigan on April 3, 2021 two seasons ago (the “2020” spring season).
Rutgers has held all 12 opponents to six shots on goal or less.
Rutgers is now 4-2-2 all-time against Northwestern, and 0-1-2 in Evanston. This was the first time in the series the match did not in a shutout for one or both teams.
Next Up: The Scarlet Knights’ road trip continues on Sun., Oct. 2 at 12 p.m. ET, making the short drive to West Lafayette, Indiana to take on Purdue, airing live on Big Ten Network.