As far as tune-ups go, this one could not have gone better.
Northwestern (8-7-2, 3-3-2) raced out to an early lead and never looked back in a 7-0 thrashing of Division III Marian University (Wisc.) (5-13-1, 2-9-0 ), the ‘Cats biggest margin of victory in a match since 1987. A first-half brace from Ty Seager propelled the ‘Cats on a night where Northwestern honored seniors Matt Moderwell, Mac Mazzola, Andrew McLeod, Sean Lynch, Robbie White, Mattias Tomasino and Seager in their last home contest representing the ‘Cats.
Northwestern blitzed the Sabres from the start, scoring three times within the first 10 minutes. In particular, Seager showed off his rapid pace along the right flank to constantly burn his defender and set up Northwestern with scoring chances.
Seager scored his first goal two minutes into the contest after the ‘Cats bought the ball up from left to right, with Moderwell and Castro teaming up to bypass Marian with ease. Castro’s through ball found Seager unmarked along the right side, and the senior slotted home. It was the first point of four on the day for the senior, who provided his strongest performance of the season so far.
“It felt good, just getting confidence,” Seager said. “It was a great game for guys to get confidence, get some rhythm offensively and I was glad to be a part of that.”
Six minutes later, Seager beat his man down the right side with a quick step-over and cut, before deftly crossing the ball to an oncoming Richie Bennett. The Indiana native headed home for Northwestern’s second goal of the game. Two minutes later, Drew Viscomi lifted a lovely cross over the top of the Marian defense to an open Spencer Howard for 3-0, and Howard assisted Moderwell on a tight angle for four. Seager added another off a one-on-one with the keeper, and Bardia Kimiavi headed in from Max Silberg’s cross on the left for Northwestern’s sixth. The ‘Cats finished the match with 20 shots, and Coach Tim Lenahan appreciated the squad’s aggressiveness and clinical finishing.
“Our goal was to find an offensive rhythm,” Lenahan said. “We were sharp, we knew we were going to get the ball a lot, [and] going to get chances. The game itself was never in doubt. All in all, [it was a] great senior night for us.”
The night marked the first time Northwestern has scored six in a game, much less in a half, since last year’s senior night contest against Concordia-Chicago. The ‘Cats comfortably rode out the second half en route to a dominant performance. Vicente Castro added a seventh, and his first of the season, on a first-time volley after Marian keeper Cory Koehler fumbled the ball off a corner.
Northwestern will prepare for the Big Ten tournament riding a three match unbeaten streak in Big Ten play. The first quarterfinal begins Saturday, Nov. 10, with seedings still to be determined.