The Wildcats had 10 different players score goals in the victory, including multi-goal games by Esposito, senior Danita Stroup and senior Catie Ingrilli. Freshman Meghan Duffy and sophomore Liza Elder each scored their first career goal. Esposito also dished out an assist in the contest to set a new career-high with seven points.
Sophomore goalkeeper Mallory Weisse finished with 11 saves to earn her third victory of the season. Weisse has recorded double-digit saves in three-straight contests and five total this season.
After scoring just eight goals in a pair of losses on the road last weekend, the offense came out firing on all cylinders. Stroup got the ‘Cats on the board just 62 seconds into the contest and Fredericks found sophomore Leighton Yenor at the 27:53 mark of the first half to extend the lead to 2-0. Ingrilli scored in her seventh consecutive game just a minute and a half later to cap a 3-0 run to start the game.
The Golden Eagles’ (2-5) Julianna Shearer scored back-to-back goals to cut the lead to one, 3-2, but Esposito started her big day with an unassisted goal with 23:13 on the clock and Ingrilli matched her career high with her second goal of the day with 18:07 left in the first half to extend the lead back to three, 5-2.
Despite the strong start by the offense, the ‘Cats went cold for a stretch in the first half to let Marquette back in the game. After Ingrilli’s second goal, the visitors scored three of the next four goals over the span of 18 minutes to cut the ‘Cats’ lead to one, 6-5. Northwestern responded however, as Esposito capped a first-half hat trick with 59 seconds left in the half and Stroup scored her second of the game just 11 seconds before the break to give NU a 8-5 lead at halftime.
The strong finish to the first half sparked a run of five-straight by Chicago’s Big Ten Team to put them in control. Junior co-captain Sheila Nesselbush scored 1:13 into the second half and freshman Lindsey McKone found the back of the net after a great feed across the middle by Fredericks just 48 seconds later. Espositio capped the 5-0 run with her fourth goal of the game despite the ‘Cats being a woman down to extend the lead to 11-5.
Stroup matched her career high and recorded her second career hat trick with her third goal at the 18:16 mark. Marquette cut the ‘Cats’ seven-goal lead to five, 14-9, but Elder buried a free-position and Esposito surpassed her previous career high of four goals with 10:10 on the clock to push the lead back to seven, 14-7.
Duffy scored her first career goal on a feed from Esposito with 6:33 to play and fellow freshman Megan Kinna scored her fourth goal of the season 1:14 later. Esposito capped a 3-0 run and gave the ‘Cats their largest lead of the day with four minutes remaining, 17-9.
Sophomore Corinne Wessels capped the scoring for the Wildcats with her second goal of the season on Elder’s first career assist.
The Wildcats had a season-high 31 grounds balls in the contest, with eight individuals picking up at least two. Fredericks led the way with a career-high five to go with her four assists and seven draw controls. The squad also matched its season high with 13 caused turnovers with Kinna and sophomore Nell Copeland leading the way with a pair apiece. Copeland has recorded at least two caused turnovers in three-straight games.
Northwestern will get back on the road for the start of a quick two-game road trip next Sunday at No. 2 North Carolina. The game will be streamed on the Watch ESPN app and is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. CT.
GAME RECAP WRITTEN BY Kyle Kelley; COURTESY NORTHWESTERN ATHLETICS