Field Hockey: West Coast sweep eludes grasp of resurgent Cats

Cleyana Mayweather

Northwestern headed west for the California sunshine this past weekend for a pair of games against teams from the NorPac conference.

“We are excited to travel to California and have our players experience hockey in a different region of the country,” coach McCollum said before the trip.

NU (4-9, 0-3 Big Ten) played the Stanford Cardinal (9-4, 4-1 NorPac) on Saturday. It was the Cats first time playing the Cardinal since 2004. NU finished up its road trip with a contest against California (9-4, 4-0 NorPac) on Sunday, a school the Cats had not faced since 2003.

NU’s trip started off perfectly with a win over Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif. Junior Alison Bullock collected a loose ball that found the top corner of the net in the 19th minute of the game. Bullock’s goal was her team-leading sixth of the season. Bullock has more goals this year than she had in her first two seasons.

But the Cardinal fired back with a goal from forward Rachel Mozenter that tied the contest at 1-1 just more than one minute into the second half.

In the second half, Stanford was unable to stop NU sophomore Courtney Plaster-Strange. Plaster-Strange starred with two second-half goals. Her second goal gave the Cats a 3-1 lead with four minutes left in the game to put the Cardinal away for good.

The win put an end to the Cats’ seven-game losing streak.

On Sunday, NU travelled to Berkeley to play Cal but came up short in a 2-1 loss. NU sophomore Elizabeth Dobbs, who attended high school in San Francisco, scored her first goal of the year.

The trip was also a homecoming for junior goalie Emily Kyle, a San Francisco native. Kyle saved nine shots on Saturday against Stanford and followed with five saves on Sunday at Cal. Kyle has 70 saves on the season.

Reach Cleyana Mayweather at [email protected]