Field Hockey: Northwestern's winning streak improves to six
October 15, 2012
Inclement weather could not stop No. 9 Northwestern from powering its way to another shutout win.
Against Central Michigan on Sunday, rain delays and a tornado warning forced both teams to evacuate the field to take shelter inside for about two hours while a storm rolled through Evanston. The game was delayed with about 13 minutes remaining due to nearby lightning strikes, giving the Wildcats a chance to rest up and relax.
The break only helped propel NU (14-2, 3-1 Big Ten) to a 6-0 rout of the Chippewas.
“We came out a lot harder after the break,” junior forward Nikki Parsley said. “It gave us the time we needed to regroup.”
The chance to take a breather meant more than avoiding the high speed winds and gusts of rain that accosted the field. Coach Tracey Fuchs said the break was a turning point for the Cats, who had not been playing to their full potential during the first half of the game.
A shutout score does not tell the whole story. Though the Cats were able to get on the scoreboard, the game was hardly an easy 70 minutes. Fuchs said she found the Chippewas to be an aggressive opponent.
“Central Michigan was all over the place,” Fuchs said. “They put a lot of pressure on us.”
The Cats led 3-0 before the delay. Senior forward Chelsea Armstrong scored the first two goals and junior midfielder Catherine Franklin made the third, marking her first of the year. Freshman midfielder Caroline Troncelliti added two goals of her own almost immediately after the teams resumed play.
Fuchs said even a “feisty” Central Michigan lineup could not shake the Cats’ attacking corps.
In fact, no one seems to be able to stop NU's offensive attacks, which also knocked off Indiana (8-6, 0-4) 4-0 on Friday. The Cats have been victorious in 13 out of their last 14 games, a massive asset to their overall season record of 14-2.
Friday’s contest against Indiana served as a Big Ten challenge that the Cats gladly accepted, silencing their conference foe. NU controlled possession for the majority of the game.
Fuchs said she is more than pleased with her team's progress at this point in the season.
Wins in the upcoming contests will have a strong impact on the Cats’ chance to continue their march toward the postseason and accomplish their main goal: winning a conference championship.
For Fuchs, coming out on top again this weekend is all about matching the passion she saw against Central Michigan after the delay.
“That intensity needs to come out when they step out, and (it must) really be able to finish at the other end of the field," she said.