Field Hockey: Northwestern loses to Maryland in double OT


Daily file photo by Daniel Tian

Charlotte Martin high-fives teammates as they come off of the field. The senior midfielder assisted on NU’s lone goal in the team’s 2-1 loss to Maryland, a contest that is likely her final one as a Wildcat.

Dan Waldman, Reporter

Field Hockey

After taking the Big Ten Tournament No. 1 seed Maryland to double overtime, the Wildcats could not finish their Cinderella story, and the team’s season ended, most likely spoiling any chance of Northwestern making the NCAA Tournament.

No. 4 seed NU (13-8, 4-4 Big Ten) scored the first goal of the game against the Terrapins (18-3, 8-0) with just under 20 minutes to play. Junior midfielder and Cats leading scorer, Dominique Masters scored NU’s first goal after tipping a driven shot to the left of the goalkeeper and into the cage.

“We obviously were so elated that we had gone a goal ahead,” Masters said. “But no one on the team was expecting to win until that final whistle. We wanted to keep the momentum going, which I think we did.”

The Terrapins dominated the penalty corners aspect of the game, totaling 11 — eight more than NU. But the Cats were able to contain Maryland shooters, until forward Welma Luus got the better of Cats sophomore goalie Lindsay von der Luft with only nine minutes to play.

Cats coach Tracey Fuchs attributed the team’s ability to fend off the Terrapins to the outstanding play of senior midfielder Caroline Troncelliti, who acted as the flyer on NU’s penalty corner defensive setup.

“Troncelliti stopped about three-quarters of them,” Fuchs said. “It takes a lot of bravery to run out on corners, and I thought she in particular was really fantastic in corner defense.”

After Maryland knotted the game at 1-1, the teams battled through an entire 15-minute overtime period, before midfielder Lein Holsboer juggled the ball on her stick, lifting it above von der Luft at the beginning of the second overtime.

Dismayed by the clinching goal, the reigning Big Ten Tournament champion Cats dropped their heads into their hands and lined up to shake hands. Troncelliti said the season meant everything to her, and she will miss playing with her teammates.

“They’re a great group of girls and we have amazing coaches and support,” Troncelliti said. “So we definitely may not have had the opportunities (that we wanted), but it’s an amazing group of people that I wouldn’t change for the world.”

The NCAA allows only 19 teams to make the final tournament, and after today’s loss the Cats acknowledge their season is probably over.

The Cats were one of the most experienced teams in the Big Ten Tournament, and Fuchs realizes losing 10 seniors will be hard to deal with. But nevertheless, she said she is proud of her players and their resilience this season.

“Yeah, it’s a special team,” Fuchs said. “We didn’t accomplish the goal, but I’ve never had a team better than this year, and a better group of seniors. They’re just amazing people, amazing athletes, amazing students, and they do it right. It’s going to be really hard to see them go.”

Twitter: @dan_waldman