After taking out Purdue 2-0 for their ninth-straight victory on Sunday, the Wildcats jumped to No. 21 in the NSCAA Coaches Poll released Tuesday.
This is the highest Northwestern has been ranked all season, as the team ranked 24th on Sept. 6 before dropping out of the rankings last week. The Cats joined Minnesota, Penn State and Rutgers as Big Ten teams among the Top 25.
NU has been on a tear recently and hasn’t allowed a goal in the month of September. The only goal the Cats have allowed all season was in a 2-1 win over DePaul on Aug. 25 in their third match.
As it begins to enter the heart of Big Ten play, competition should heat up for NU. On Friday, the Cats will take on No. 22 Rutgers, their first ranked opponent of the year. NU managed to take out Rutgers 1-0 at home last year, but the Scarlet Knights have already proven their might this year, as they topped No. 23 Connecticut 2-0 on Aug. 28, and are coming off a national semifinals appearance last season.
After finishing up a six-match home-stand with the win over the Boilermakers, NU will be on the road for the next two weeks as it look to keep up the momentum from its perfect start to the season.