Field Hockey: Wildcats break even out east


Susan Du/Daily Senior Staffer

Nikki Parsley scored twice against Kent State, as Northwestern defeated the Golden Flashes 3-1 Sunday. The senior forward leads the Wildcats with 10 goals on the season, after scoring eight all of last year.

Mike Marut, Reporter

When it came to scoring, Northwestern balanced the scale over the weekend.

No. 10 Northwestern (11-3, 2-1 Big Ten) fell to No. 8 Penn State (8-3, 2-0) 2-0 Saturday but topped Kent State (5-8) 3-1 Sunday.

“Although the scoreboard doesn’t show it, Penn State was an evenly matched game,” coach Tracey Fuchs said. “All the stats were pretty much the same for both teams, except they had a few more corners than we did.”

The Wildcats outshot the Nittany Lions 10-9 and put Penn State’s keeper to work with five of those shots on goal. Unfortunately for NU, Kylie Licata did not let any balls past her.

“Penn State made due with the opportunities they had,” Fuchs said. “We had to try and fight back, but you can’t wait until halftime to regroup.”

The Nittany Lions stuck the Cats with their first shutout of the season. The two teams are competing for the top spot in the Big Ten, and coming into the game NU was king of the hill. With this loss to Penn State, the Cats’ standing is less secure.

The Kent State game told a different story. Rather than an evenly matched event, the scales tipped far in NU’s favor. The Cats led in shots, shots on goal, penalty corners, assists and goals. NU struck first in the 10th minute of play with a goal put in by senior midfielder Nikki Parsley. The goal came off a feed from redshirt junior Kelsey Thompson.

Before the game against Kent State, Fuchs and Parsley said the team was disappointed.

“We were tired going into the Kent State game after Penn State,” Parsley said. “But the goals picked up the team.”

Parsley put the ball in the net a second time in the 29th minute of the first half after the ball deflected toward her. She did not take all the responsibility herself, crediting freshman midfielder Isabel Flens’ nifty moves on the field for the scoring opportunity.

“Isabel juked three people, shot it and I happened to be sitting there in a scoring position,” Parsley said.

Deflections are Parsley’s specialty, Fuchs said, and she made a lot of them Sunday. On the season, Parsley leads the team with 10 goals, with a 66 percent shot-on-goal average and two assists.

The final goal for NU came from sophomore Kelley Stump. The third score for the Cats was Stump’s first of the season. Fuchs said the team missed a few easy scoring opportunities off the right post during the game, before senior midfielder Tara Puffenberger delivered a “perfect ball” to Stump, who was in position and directed the ball off the post and into the goal.

“Tara was coming down the right side, and she gave me the ball in front of the right post, and I put it in,” Stump said.

Overall, Fuchs seemed pleased with the Kent State game.

“I think we handled them well,” Fuchs said. “Our midfielders stepped up in the game and (junior goalkeeper) Maddy (Carpenter) wasn’t tested too much.”

This is a testament to NU’s defensive prowess, which allowed only one late goal against the Golden Flash.

The Cats now have a “well-deserved” bye week, Fuchs said, and do not play again until Oct. 18 when they take on conference opponent Indiana.

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