Field Hockey: Northwestern clinches berth in 2021 NCAA Tournament


Photo courtesy of Northwestern Athletics

Sophomore midfielder Alia Marshall jumps in celebration. Northwestern clinched a berth in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.

Drew Schott, Sports Editor

Field Hockey

Northwestern is going dancing. 

On Saturday, the Wildcats (11-5, 5-3 Big Ten) clinched a berth in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. NU earned one of the tournament’s three at-large bids and will face Delaware on April 30 for a spot in the quarterfinals against No. 4 Iowa.

The Cats’ appearance in the NCAA Tournament is the 16th in program history and the fourth under coach Tracey Fuchs. Most recently, NU appeared in the Big Dance in 2019 and lost to Boston College 2-1.

After a 10-4 regular season that saw two victories over the Hawkeyes and one against Michigan — a No. 2 seed in the tournament — the Cats fell in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals to Ohio State. Now, the team will have a chance to win the first national title in program history. 

NU is led by Kayla Blas, Maddie Zimmer and Bente Baekers. A junior defenseman, Blas earned First Team All-Big Ten Honors. Zimmer also attained First Team All-Big Ten Honors, as well as Big Ten Freshman of the Year, after notching three goals and one assist. Baekers, a redshirt sophomore forward and the Cats’ leading scorer with 12 goals, received Second Team All-Big Ten Honors.

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