Field Hockey: Northwestern knocks down No. 19 Ohio State, Michigan State in Evanston


Kelsey Carroll/Daily Senior Staffer

Sophomore midfielder Maddie Zimmer takes a shot inside the circle. Zimmer scored a goal in Northwestern’s shutout win over Ohio State Friday.

Skye Swann, Assistant Sports Editor

Field Hockey

At the start of the second period, Northwestern redshirt junior forward Bente Baekers grabbed possession of the ball, dribbled past three Michigan State defenders and drove the ball straight past the goalkeeper’s feet.

Baekers went on to score two penalty strokes, putting the nail in the coffin against another Big Ten opponent.

“I’m really proud of Bente’s game today,” coach Tracey Fuchs said. “She really showed her skill out there today and had one of her best games of the season.”

The Wildcats (12-4, 3-3 Big Ten) concluded Homecoming weekend triumphant, earning a shutout 3-0 win over No. 19 Ohio State (7-7, 1-4) and a 6-2 defeat over the Spartans (7-5 ,0-5) at Lakeside Field. At NU’s first homestand in two weeks, Fuchs felt excitement to be back home and snag two more conference victories. 

The Cats applied pressure to the Buckeyes out the gate, which worked to the squad’s advantage. Controlling the pace of the match, sophomore midfielder Maddie Zimmer scored in the first quarter, while senior midfielder Maren Seidel tallied two more goals before the end of regulation.

“We have a midfield that is (extremely) strong in the center,” Fuchs said. “When opponents try to shut down one player, other players will score which makes our offense so dynamic.”

NU’s high powered offense on Sunday showcased four different scorers. Capped off by Baekers’ hat trick and two goals from graduate forward Clara Roth, the Wildcats dismantled a gritty Michigan State defense. Fuchs praised the performances of both Baekers and Roth, saying the two players worked efficiently inside the circle.

Roth opened the scoring for NU early in the contest, racking up a goal minutes before the end of the first quarter. Fuchs said Roth has contributed tremendously to the offense this season, giving NU more firepower inside the sixteen. Putting two shots in the back of the cage against the Spartans, Roth is second for goals on the team with 10.

“I think our team all came together and gave it 100% on the field,” Roth said. “We communicated and worked for each other so we could keep taking shots.”

The Cats outshot the Spartans 28-5, taking 10 attempts in the fourth quarter which resulted in three more goals. NU had success with its corners, an area Fuchs noted the team struggled with against Michigan earlier this month. Baekers took two penalty strokes late in the game after Michigan State violations near the goaline. 

After the weekend wins, the Cats have a three-game winning streak, holding the fifth-best record in the Big Ten Conference. The two matchups were the third and fourth-to-last games NU will play in Evanston for the 2021 campaign. 

With a bye week ahead, Fuchs said the team has time to recover before the final matches of the regular season. The Cats will hit the road at the end of the month for their final away game against No. 1 Iowa.

“With the bye week coming up we have some players coming back from injury, so we are only going to get stronger in the final games of the season,” Fuchs said.

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