For the first time since 2014, Northwestern Men’s Soccer (10-2-3, 4-2-1 B1G) has 10 wins.
The number is a milestone – double digits and the most wins of a Big Ten team this year – but it’s not the only one that matters. To offer a complete picture of the best Northwestern men’s soccer squad in 10 years, here are eight more numbers that tell a story of tough, hard-earned glory.
The number of points (a stat where goals are worth two and assists are worth one) that fourth-year forward Justin Weiss has racked up so far this season. His seven goals and seven assists tie him for the highest point-earner in the B1G, while putting him second in goals and tied for first in assists.
Weiss’s hat trick and assist in Northwestern’s 4-1 victory over UIC earned him B1G Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 12. Although his past couple games have been rough – he played only 38 minutes against Michigan State, the shortest duration of his season, and didn’t start against Indiana – he remains Northwestern’s strongest attacker.
Northwestern’s scoring average this season, second only to Penn State (9-3-3, 4-2-1 B1G) in the B1G. The ’Cats also sit in second behind Penn State in scoring margin, with a margin of 0.93. The Nittany Lions broke Northwestern’s 12 game undefeated streak on Oct. 13, handing the ’Cats a 2-1 loss courtesy of fourth-year forward Peter Mangione’s game-winning goal in the 73rd minute.
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The number of games that graduate forward Ugo Achara, Jr. has played in this season. Achara, Jr. last played for the ’Cats during the 2020 season – when he was Northwestern’s top goal-scorer and point-earner – before transferring to Louisville. While Achara, Jr. averages only 49.4 minutes per game, he has made his time on the pitch count, tallying four goals and one assist for a total of nine points, the second-highest on the team.
Rom Brown. On FIRE! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/iv5MkjoRou— Northwestern Men's Soccer (@NUMensSoccer) September 12, 2023
Brown and third-year midfielder Colin McCamy have improved exponentially since last season, when each tallied just one point. This year, the pair is tied for third on the team in point-earning with eight apiece, and McCamy’s four assists are second-highest on the team.
Minutes per game that second-year defender Nigel Prince averages. In addition to anchoring the ’Cats defense, Prince scored his first career goal, a beautiful header off of a corner kick, to give Northwestern the 1-0 victory over Indiana (7-4-4, 3-2-2 B1G) in the home closer on Oct. 24.
First-year defender Fritz Volmer’s ranking in Top Drawer Soccer’s list of standout freshmen. Volmer averages 76.1 minutes per game and has started in all but one match. Between Volmer, Prince and first-year defender Bryant Mayer – who has played in 11 games, started eight and notched two goals – Northwestern has a young defensive core that will have plenty of opportunity to get even stronger.
Graduate goalkeeper Jackson Weyman’s save percentage, which ranks fourth in the conference. Weyman has made 38 saves this season, including a season high of seven in Northwestern’s 2-0 shutout of Maryland (4-7-3, 0-5-2 B1G) on Sept. 29.
Weyman has guarded the goal in 12 of Northwestern’s 15 games, and has recorded shutouts in four of those. In total, the ’Cats have held six teams scoreless this season, and average 0.87 goals allowed per game, good for third in the B1G.
Northwestern’s peak position in the United Soccer Coaches Poll, back on Oct. 10. Since then, the ’Cats have dropped to 21st and then out of the national ranking entirely, following back-to-back losses to Penn State and Michigan State (7-1-6, 3-1-4 B1G).
Despite this hitch, Northwestern has fought to claim the number one spot in the conference with just one game left before Big Ten Tournament play begins on Nov. 3.
The numbers don’t lie: Northwestern is having their best season in a decade, and if their game-winning grit holds out, they can do what they haven’t since 2014: take Wildcat soccer to the NCAA tournament.
10 wins for the first time in 10 years. 😈— Northwestern Men's Soccer (@NUMensSoccer) October 25, 2023
This. Team. pic.twitter.com/UouVOyMQuq