The squad huddles before taking on Indiana on Oct. 1. Photo by Brandi Simpson / North by Northwestern

New opponent, same storyline for the ‘Cats.

Northwestern (5-5-1, 1-2-1 B1G) dropped its second-straight conference match against Michigan (5-2-3, 2-0-2 B1G) in a 3-0 shutout despite playing a scoreless first half. The Wolverines took over in the second, leaving the Wildcats searching for their second conference win of the year.

Both teams began aggressively, as Northwestern appeared to follow a similar blueprint to their plan against Indiana. Michigan slowly grew into the game, however, as they forced the Wildcat backline into a couple of nervy moments. Nebojsa Popovic was the main channel of attack for the Wolverines with three shots. They may have had their best chance of the first half when Michigan forward Derick Broche met a cross inside the box, but his low shot deflected off defender Andrew McLeod’s leg for a corner. While the ‘Cats played the first half to a draw, but Michigan held advantages in shots (6-2) and shots on goal (2-1).

Northwestern simply could not play up to form in the second half. The Wolverines drew first blood in the 53rd minute when Jack Hallahan crossed in a corner, which Jackson Ragen headed toward the far post to a lurking Carlos Tellez, who tapped it in. Four minutes later, Popovic finally delivered, earning his 6th goal of the season after finishing a run from midfield with a left-footed strike just outside the box that Miskovic could not palm away.

Umar Farouk Osman finished the game off in the 77th, as he calmly slotted through Miskovic’s legs following a cross from Tellez for his first goal of the season.

The ‘Cats couldn’t get their second marquee away win of the year, as, similarly to the team’s performance against Indiana, the young squad could not keep up with Michigan. The Wolverines outshot Northwestern in the second by an 11-4 margin, and were clearly in control from the second whistle. The ‘Cats take on local rival Loyola this Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m.