After riding the high of taking down No. 3 Iowa, Northwestern shot up to a No. 1 ranking. It followed up the vote of confidence with an easy take down of Ohio, 5-0, on its Senior Day. To a certain extent, it’s almost unfair how good Northwestern field hockey is. The Wildcats’ fifth straight shutout — 10th of the season — brought them to 13 consecutive wins.
The first half, as was the case for most of the game, was all Northwestern. The Bobcats never even had the chance to fire a shot in the opening quarter and only were able to tally one by the half. The Wildcats, meanwhile, shot five attempts in both frames and carried a 2-0 lead into the break.
After missing opportunities on two shots and a penalty corner, Lindsey Frank and Peyton Halsey broke through to put Northwestern on the board a little over five minutes into play. Frank, the two-sport graduate transfer from Richmond, dribbled the ball all the way down the sideline and to the goal, before shooting a short pass forward to Halsey who found the backboards. The graduate student’s 10th goal of the season kept her in the lead for goals on the team.
For the first five minutes of the second quarter, Northwestern continued to pile on the pressure. Alia Marshall snagged a penalty corner, but Ilse Tromp’s shot was blocked. This pattern continued. Marshall got another penalty, but this time Lane Herbert and Lauren Wadas could not convert the ball. Then, Chloe Relford got the third penalty, which led to a blocked shot from Herbert. First-year Olivia Bent-Cole was right there waiting, firing the second goal off her third shot of the game.
Weekly Reminder: Olivia Bent-Cole is really good at this pic.twitter.com/1whbH4PsgQ— Northwestern Field Hockey (@NUFHCats) October 15, 2023
The Wildcats started off the second half of the game just as strong as the first, not allowing the Bobcats a shot in the third set and tallying two more goals.
After Marshall got Northwestern a penalty corner — her fourth of the game — she inserted the ball to the top of the circle, where Halsey set up Tromp for a clean shot.
Ilse making it look EASY pic.twitter.com/cyIVWtvGXZ— Northwestern Field Hockey (@NUFHCats) October 15, 2023
10 minutes later, Marshall set up another Wildcat corner, but this time, Tromp sent the ball down to Bent-Cole, who deflected it for her second goal of the game and a 4-0 lead.
The fourth quarter allowed for more Northwestern players to see playing time and gave Ohio a few more opportunities to tack one on the board. Despite five shots and four penalty corners, the Bobcats found no success, with Annabel Skubisz gathering two saves against their effort. But this frame was all about Wadas.
She opened the quarter with a goal, assisted by Marshall and Halsey, making for the fourth straight goal off a corner. Then, she closed out the quarter with a defensive save in a last-minute corner by Ohio.
The Wildcats severely outmatched the Bobcats in shots and shots on goal, 21-6 and 13-2, respectively. Marshall and Halsey each notched two assists, as their tandem proved to be lethal for scoring off corners.
The ‘Cats have a difficult Big Ten slate ahead of them as they prepare to face No. 16 Penn State, No. 4 Rutgers and No. 9 Maryland to finish out the season.
Northwestern will look to extend its winning streak to 15 as it heads to Pennsylvania on Friday and New Jersey on Sunday.