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The Daily Northwestern

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Field Hockey: No. 1 Northwestern posts fifth consecutive shutout, defeats Ohio 5-0 on Senior Day

Elisa Huang/The Daily Northwestern
Senior midfielder Lauren Wadas dribbles the ball. Wadas scored one of No. 1 Northwestern’s five goals Sunday.

Nine days removed from a 2-0 defensive clinic at then-No.3 Iowa, No. 1 Northwestern took on Ohio at Lakeside Field on Sunday — with Senior Day spoils and the nation’s top ranking on the line.

“I couldn’t be more proud — this has been one of the most rewarding seasons of my coaching career,” coach Tracey Fuchs said of her squad. “I hardly have to do anything because our leadership is so good and so strong and our culture is really amazing. That’s a tribute to our seniors and all of the work they’ve put in over the past four or five years.” 

In a performance of collective control and connection, the Wildcats (13-1, 5-0 Big Ten) built an early advantage to best the visiting Bobcats (5-7, 3-2 Mid-American Conference) in a 5-0 victory.

NU swiftly went on the offensive in the matchup’s opening moments, putting Ohio on its heels from the opening push back.

“Once we really started passing the ball and playing Wildcat hockey, we took over,” Fuchs said.

Just under 10 minutes into the game, graduate student midfielder Lindsey Frank dribbled along the endline and connected with graduate student midfielder Peyton Halsey inside the arc. Halsey one-timed a chipped effort into the cage to open the scoring for the ‘Cats.

While freshman forward Olivia Bent-Cole fired two shots in the opening frame, she struck paydirt for the first time in the second period, scoring an unassisted goal on a penalty corner to double NU’s lead to 2-0.

Although the Bobcats drew their first penalty corner of the day toward the back end of the quarter, the ‘Cats kept them off the scoreboard, heading into halftime with a two-goal advantage.

Once the second half commenced, NU maintained its seamless and explosive play. 

Freshman back Ilse Tromp continued her standout run of form in injured sophomore back Maja Zivojnovic’s stead, converting off a penalty corner setup from Halsey and graduate student midfielder Alia Marshall to extend the team’s lead to 3-0 with over 10 minutes to play in the third quarter.

With just over a minute before the final quarter, Tromp struck a shot toward goal, which Bent-Cole deflected beyond Ohio goalkeeper Macy Lotze for her second goal of the game. 

On a day that shone light on a standout four-year career that keeps writing new chapters, senior midfielder Lauren Wadas scored her third goal in as many games, striding into the arc and striking a powerful shot to cement the 5-0 win. 

Emotions ran high among families, friends and fans in the stands, as celebrations of what Fuchs called “the most decorated” group of seniors in Northwestern history began shortly after the final buzzer sounded. 

Even after a national title and another national championship appearance, Wadas shared Fuchs’ sentiment of what this team and season has meant to her. 

“It’s been the best four years honestly of my life, and the team makes it so much more special,” Wadas said. “We all just get along so well and it’s just so fluid on the field.” 

After passing its nonconference test, NU’s schedule ramps back up with two road battles at No. 15 Penn State and No. 4 Rutgers on Friday and Sunday. The ‘Cats will then return to Evanston on Oct. 28 to host No. 10 Maryland. 

“We always have battles with Penn State and Rutgers so we’re really excited to get on the road,” Fuchs said.

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @sophiiagutierez

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