Field Hockey: Northwestern wins twice in Ohio, extends winning streak to six


Daily file photo by Katie Pach

Kristen Mansfield looks at the field. The senior scored in the second half against the Redhawks.

Andrew Golden, Sports Editor

Field Hockey

Looking to continue their four-game winning streak, Northwestern traveled to Ohio for two games against No. 12 Ohio State and Miami University (Ohio).

By the end of the weekend, the Wildcats (8-2, 1-0 Big Ten) had extended their streak to six games, beating both teams by three goals. After a disappointing season last year, NU has played at a much higher level and with the win over the Buckeyes, the Cats have won four games against ranked opponents, matching their total from last season.

The Cats had no trouble scoring this weekend, putting nine goals in the back of the net in two games, led by freshman redshirt forward Bente Baekers, who outscored NU’s opponents 6-3 herself.

NU beat the Buckeyes 4-1, with its offense being sparked by the Netherlands native, who became the first Wildcat to record a hat trick since 2017.

The point barrage started less than five minutes into the game, when junior midfielder Lakin Barry scored off a rebound to catapult the Cats to an early lead. Less than ten minutes later, Baekers scored her first goal of the game from the top of the circle to double the lead.

Ohio State scored a goal to cut NU’s advantage in the first half, but the Cats kept the Buckeyes off the board in the second half while Baekers took over the game. Right before the end of the third quarter, she scored her second goal of the game and almost six minutes later, completed the hat trick.

Two days later against the Redhawks, the Cats had to play from behind after a back-and-forth first ten minutes of the game. The Redhawks scored just over three minutes into the game, but less than a minute later, senior midfielder Saar de Breij tied the contest when she scored off of a penalty corner. Just when it seemed like the Cats took momentum, Miami scored their second goal of the quarter to quickly retake the lead.

Fortunately for NU, Baekers picked up right where she left off in Columbus, scoring two goals within 27 seconds of each other early in the second quarter to put the Cats ahead for good. Two more goals later, one from senior defender Kirsten Mansfield and another from Baekers, and the game was out of reach by the end of the third quarter.

With her back-to-back hat tricks this weekend, the redshirt freshman phenom earned Big Ten Freshman and Player of the Week. Baekers has been the key to NU’s success this season, as she has scored in eight of the Cats’ wins this season and her 14 goals are the most in the nation.

This is the second straight week that Baekers has won the Big Ten Freshman Player of the Week and, for back-to-back weeks, NU has had a Big Ten Player of the Week as Barry took home the award last week.

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