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Field Hockey: No. 1 Wildcats earn 6-0 start in quest to defend national title

No ranking is too high for Northwestern to take down.

Photo courtesy of @NUFHCats on Twitter.

No. 1 Northwestern has made a splash so far this season following up its national championship victory with a 6-0 start for the first time since 1985.

The ‘Cats started out strong on August 28 with a 5-1 win versus No. 22 Maine, followed up the next day with a 4-1 win against No. 25 UMass. Later in the week, at the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Northwestern beat No. 18 Duke 2-0. The game marked goalie Annabel Skubisz’s seventh all-time shutout.

On September 4, she followed that up with another shutout at No. 14 Boston College, a 6-0 win for Northwestern. Offensively, fifth-year Bente Baekers and junior Chloe Relford scored two goals in two minutes against the Eagles in the first quarter, then junior Maddie Zimmer and senior Ana Medina Garcia followed that up with another two goals in just 33 seconds.

On Friday, September 9, the ‘Cats faced off against No. 11 Liberty — the only thing better than it being a rematch of last year’s championship matchup was that it was Pride night at Lakeside Field. Against Liberty. Lol. Anyways, in NU’s first home opener, it took down the Lady Flames 3-0 with two goals by Bente Baekers (in forty seconds!) and one by Kayla Blas.

On Sunday’s game versus No. 9 Virginia, Northwestern won 3-2. Baekers scored twice and Garcia once.

Baekers, who was named Big Ten Offensive player of the week on Monday, is looking like she’ll have a fourth season at the top of the standings. With 12 goals already in the season, she’s nine (!) goals ahead of the second-highest-scoring player in the conference. On the defensive side, junior Skubisz has had a 0.778 save percentage, earning her the title of Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week last week.

Northwestern will be on the road again this weekend to play at Penn on Friday at 2:00 P.M CST and then No. 17 Princeton on Sunday at 11 A.M. CST.