Friday, October 7, 2016

Gorman steps up in Northwestern's 1-0 win over Michigan State in OT

                         Photo Credit: Northwestern Athletics

For the second straight game, Northwestern found itself in familiar territory with a scoreless session through 90 minutes.

The difference from Sunday's 0-0 draw at Ohio State and Thursday's home game at Martin Field in Evanston, IL, turned out to be Kassidy Gorman's golden goal in the 93rd minute to give Northwestern (11-1-1, 4-1-1 Big Ten) a 1-0 win over Michigan State (5-7-1, 2-4-0 Big Ten) in overtime on Thursday night.

The junior's fourth goal of the season assisted by Maddy Lucas came on instinct after a missed corner kick chance seconds prior from Marisa Viggiano. 

Despite the game winner, Gorman deferred to her teammates for all of the work put in beforehand.

"It is more of the team that keeps me going because everyone's trying their hardest to get opportunities to win," Gorman said. "Our goals is to win the Big Ten, so everyone having motivation really pushed me to keep going."

Without leading scorer and premiere defender Brenna Lovera for the third straight game, Gorman stepped in and provided the spark on offense with two goals in the last three games, highlighted by Thursday's game winner.

Wildcats coach Michael Moynihan praised Gorman's ability to be flexible and step into a leadership role in Lovera's absence.

"For someone who doesn't play up front all the time, [Kassidy] has good instincts and finds herself in the right space to pick up a lot of second balls at the right time," Moynihan said. 

Game Recap:

Despite heavy rain clearing out of the area for kickoff, Michigan State and Northwestern endured damp field conditions. 

The underdog Spartans gave the Wildcats issues in the first half with superb execution on defense and set pieces, which forced five fouls in the process.

Northwestern's best scoring chance came on Michele Chernesky's shot from 20 yards out on top of the key as Savanna Wojtanowski (six shots on saves) made the leaping stop.

The Wildcats produced a couple of scoring chances towards the end of the first half, but none produced shots on goal as the game remained scoreless after 45 minutes.

Northwestern's offense came out with a purpose in the first 15 minutes of the second half with three quality shot chances from Chernesky (48th), Nandi Mehta (58th) and Gorman (60th), but MSU's Wojtanowski answered the call with timely saves.

With the fog covering part of the sites on the field in the latter part of the second half, both teams failed to score as overtime arrived.

3:13 into the first overtime, Gorman provided closure with the golden goal to help keep the Wildcats in contention for the regular-season Big Ten championship.

Looking Ahead:

Northwestern continues its home swing against Michigan schools with No. 19 University of Michigan (9-2-1, 5-1-0 Big Ten) in town for a Sunday game at Martin Field (1 p.m., BTN2Go).

Michigan dropped its first conference game at Illinois, 3-0 on Thursday night and will look to stay atop the Big Ten.

Social Media:

Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.