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Field hockey: ‘Cats go 1-1 in Virginia Beach

Tracy Fuchs’ squad continued their hot start to 2021.

Northwestern field hockey is headed home from Virginia Beach with a 3-1 record, the squad’s best start through four games since 2014.

The ‘Cats suffered their first loss of the season on Friday in a hard-fought contest against Penn State. After both teams came up empty in the first quarter, NU struck first, as Sabrina Solomen converted on a pass from Bente Baekers to tally her first career goal just after the 19-minute mark.

After nearly 20 more minutes, the Nittany Lions tied it up with a transition goal from Bree Bednarski, who tipped in a shot from Abby Myers and tie the game. The teams were scoreless for the remainder of regulation and would eventually send the game into the first shootout of the Big Ten season. PSU emerged victorious, 4-3 in shootouts.

NU outshot PSU 24-18 in the matchup, including nine shots from Baekers and six that were on target. Despite drawing nine penalty corners on the day, the ‘Cats struggled to convert on offense. Northwestern’s defense, anchored by Christen Conley and goalie Annabel Skubisz, put on another strong performance.

On Sunday, NU faced off against Maryland for the second time this season, as the Terps looked to extend their two game winning streak. Ana Medina Garcia got the ‘Cats on the board first when she tipped in a shot from Lakin Barry on a penalty corner in the 24th minute.

Maryland emerged from halftime hungry to tie it up. Early in the third quarter, Bibi Donraadt did just that, scoring off a shot from the right side. Both teams struggled to convert, as it looked like NU would be headed into its second consecutive overtime contest. However, in the 54th minute of action, Bente Baekers tallied her first goal of the season after beating a defender in a one-on-one. The ‘Cats held onto the lead for the rest of the game, earning their third win on the season.

Northwestern will take on Indiana in Evanston on Friday, March 12.