It was an all-around afternoon of attrition for Northwestern soccer, as both the women's and men's teams were in action on Sunday at their shared temporary home, Toyota Park, and both of their games ended with the score 1-0. The women (9-1-2, 3-0-1 B1G) shut out No. 11 Rutgers (8-2-0, 1-2-0), winning on a thrilling golden goal in overtime, while the men (3-4-1, 1-2-0 B1G) failed to score against Indiana (5-3-1, 1-2-0).
The women's game was a hard-fought battle from start to finish, with the 'Cats and the Scarlet Knights combining for just eight shots on goal. NU goalkeeper Lauren Clem was automatic in limited action, keeping all three of Rutgers' shots on goal from finding the back of the net and giving her team a chance to win in overtime despite the 'Cats going 0/5 in its own shots on goal. But senior Nandi Mehta, with a flair for the dramatic in the 93rd minute, unleashed a powerful shot from the edge of the box, ending the game with a golden goal. The 1-0 win clinched Clem's eighth shutout of the season and gave the 'Cats sole possession of second place in the B1G, just two points behind first place Minnesota.
The men's game that immediately followed in Bridgeview failed to provide the drama that the women's game supplied, but was essentially equal in terms of attrition. The Hoosiers and the 'Cats combined for seven shots on goal, with NU only managing two. The lone goal of the match came late in the first half, when Indiana's Andrew Gutman ripped one past the arms of NU goalkeeper Zak Allen to the top right corner in the 41st minute. That was all the Hoosiers would need, as Elo Ozumba and Jeffrey Hopson were nearly able to equalize with quality shots that just failed to find the back of the net. The loss dropped the 'Cats into a four-way tie for fifth place (next to last) in the conference, but with five conference games remaining, NU has ample time to potentially climb out of that hole.
The women's team will have chance to jump into first place in the B1G with a victory (which would net three points) over Penn State on Sunday back in Bridgeview, while the men's team will aim to hop back into B1G contention when it takes on Maryland in College Park on Friday.