Field Hockey: Armstrong sends Wildcats past Nittany Lions in overtime

Rohan Nadkarni, Assistant Sports Editor

No. 10 Northwestern needed every one of Chelsea Armstrong’s three goals Friday.

The Wildcats (10-2, 1-1 Big Ten) upended No. 6 Penn State (10-3, 2-1) 5-4 in overtime, winning 12 seconds into the extra session on their all-time leading scorer’s third goal of the day. 

Junior midfielder Tara Puffenberger set up Armstrong’s final score. The Virginia transfer’s pass sent Armstrong diving for the ball before she scored, sealing her Big Ten-leading 19th goal of the season.

Armstrong secured the team’s last three goals after NU fell behind early. The Nittany Lions opened the contest with a strike in front of the net from forward Laura Gebhart eight minutes into the game. Freshman midfielder Charlotte Martin tied up the game with a long shot from outside the circle, but Penn State notched the next two goals, one on either side of the intermission, to take a 3-1 lead. 

The Cats tied the game with 13 minutes to go before forward Hannah Allison put the Nittany Lions ahead just 65 seconds later. Allison’s goal gave way to Armstrong’s first set of heroics when she tied the game at four with her second goal, set up with assists from freshman Lisa McCarthy and junior Julia Retzky.

The win gives NU a signature victory against a team that coach Tracey Fuchs described as a “top-four” squad earlier in the week. The Cats now own five victories over ranked opponents this season.