Field Hockey: Northwestern looks to capitalize on last season’s momentum in uncertain times


Daily file photo by Alison Albelda

Bente Baekers plays defense. The sophomore forward was last year’s Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

Gabriela Carroll, Reporter

Field Hockey

Northwestern field hockey is coming off one of their best seasons in recent history, during which they made the NCAA tournament. Led by Big Ten Freshman of the Year forward Bente Baekers, the team won 14 games and returns most of the core group that helped them achieve those goals.

The team’s success last season was the result of a strong scoring offense and tough defense, through the efforts of Baekers, who scored the second-most goals in program history last season, and all-Big Ten junior defender Kayla Blas.

Though NU didn’t win a Big Ten title last season, their success against Big Ten opponents indicates the team has a bright future ahead. The Cats beat Michigan last season after seven consecutive losses to the Wolverines prior, and made it to the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament. Many of NU’s major contributors are underclassmen, so the team has the potential to be a major player in the Big Ten for years to come.

But the uncertainty of the fall sports season and the likely financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic may leave field hockey in crisis. Due to financial woes from the pandemic, Stanford cut their field hockey program, in addition to 10 other sports teams. Though NU has given no indication that they will cut varsity teams, Stanford’s decision puts a bit of a damper on what otherwise is an exciting time for NU field hockey.

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