Field Hockey: Northwestern will square off against No. 8 North Carolina Friday in Iowa City


Joshua Hoffman/Daily Senior Staffer

Sophomore midfielder Katie Jones sends the ball into the circle. Martin has been a solid midfielder for the Wildcats this season.

Skye Swann, Assistant Sports Editor

Field Hockey

For the third straight season, Northwestern is headed to the Big Dance, clinching their ticket into a first round matchup of the NCAA tournament in Iowa City. 

Securing the seventh seed, the Wildcats (14-5, 5-3 Big Ten) will battle No. 8 Carolina (13-6, 4-2 ACC) Friday for the first time since 1993. NU holds an all-time 4-4-1 record against the Tar Heels, but both teams will bring their A-game Friday. 

Ahead of the matchup, the Cats fell short in a shootout against Michigan in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. Graduate student forward Clara Roth and senior midfielder Maren Seidel scored the two points for NU in the matchup before redshirt junior forward Bente Baekers made one of the squad’s penalty strokes. 

Despite the outcome, Roth, Seidel and Baekers will be key players for the Cats in Friday’s matchup against North Carolina. Baekers, a three time All-Big Ten team honoree, leads the team in scoring and ranks second in the program with 54 career goals. For NU to have offensive success, Baekers must play an active role inside the circle. 

Additionally, the Cats will look to sophomore midfielder Maddie Zimmer and senior defender Kayla Blas during the contest. Named 2020 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Zimmer earned back to back All-Big Ten selections — the first Wildcat to receive this honor since 2010. Meanwhile, Blas earned her third-consecutive All-Big Ten nomination and has played a central role to NU’s defensive dominance. 

Coach Tracey Fuchs leads the Cats into their fifth NCAA tournament appearance in her thirteenth season at the position. Last season, Fuchs led the team to the Elite Eight of the 2020 NCAA tournament. This time around, NU seeks to bring home a championship. 
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