By Axel Boada
In a battle for first place in the Big Ten conference, No. 9 Northwestern fell on the road to 14th-ranked Michigan Friday night.
The Wildcats got on the board quickly as Dominique Masters scored the team’s lone goal about eight minutes into the game. Masters was able to get her stick on the ball after Charlotte Martin fell and pushed the ball toward the net.
That ended up being Northwestern’s only shot of the first half. Michigan dominated possession and had a commanding 9-1 lead on shots in the half. The Wolverines also took eight penalty corners while Northwestern attempted none. They tied the game 1-1 off Leslie Smith’s goal on their seventh corner in the 32nd minute.
Northwestern started the second half more aggressively, taking three shots in the first five minutes. However, Michigan’s Sam Swenson earned two of her four saves on back-to-back attacks by Isabel Flens and Masters following the Wildcats’ first penalty corner of the match.
The Wolverines scored their second goal of the game off another penalty corner with 13:58 remaining. Lauren Thomas’ shot seemed to deflect off the stick of Amy Guttman, but Thomas was awarded the goal.
Michigan protected their 2-1 lead for their fifth Big Ten win of the season and 10th win overall.
Northwestern falls to 10-5 (4-1 B1G) and are now tied with Maryland for second place in the Big Ten. The Wildcats next face Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich., Sunday 11 a.m.