Huskers one step closer to Big Ten tourney

Story by Camila Orti, NewsNetNebraska

Playing in the Big Ten conference tournament is within reach for the Nebraska women’s soccer squad.

A 1-0 victory against Iowa on Thursday will help the Huskers climb up the conference standings and move closer to the NCAA tournament in November.

Nebraska’s record in conference play is now 4-5-0, moving the team above the Hawkeyes in Big Ten rankings.

Only eight teams receive bids to the Big Ten tournament. Because Northwestern is automatically in as the host-school, Nebraska needs to secure a spot in the top seven.

The Huskers came into Thursday’s game ranked 10th, and beating No. 6 Iowa is exactly what the squad needed because Iowa held a two-point lead over Nebraska. However, NU must continue to perform well against No. 2 Illinois on Sunday and against Minnesota (tied at 6th with Iowa) the following Friday.

Goalie Emma Stevens is nothing but determined.

“We need to win out the rest of our conference and that included today,” Stevens said after the game. “We’re one down and we have two more.”

Stevens stopped six goals for the Huskers, bumping her total saves for the season to 75.

The win against the Hawkeyes, however, did not come easy for the offense. Morgan Marlborough’s game-winning goal wasn’t until the 99th minute of the game, finding the left corner of the net just beyond Iowa goalie Emily Moran’s reach.

Jordan Jackson, a starting forward for NU, said it took 23 shots before one found its mark.

“We had a lot of open goals where we could’ve finished the game early,” the junior said, “but sometimes you just have to grind it out.”

Jackson was a pivotal player in Nebraska’s offense, contributing three out of the Huskers’ 10 shots on goal. She said the offense worked together to create more scoring opportunities.

“It’s not just 1 v 1 goals (one versus one) anymore, which is what we’ve been working on this week,” Jackson said.

Looking forward to the last two games of the season, Jackson said there is only one hope and an expectation – to win.

For full stats from Thursday’s game, visit Huskers.com.

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