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2023 Northwestern field hockey player previews: Annabel Skubisz

She proved her talent as a first-year and has done nothing but impress since.

As exhibition games begin this week and the field hockey season soon commences, Annabel Skubisz is an essential player to know. The rising senior accumulated an incredible amount of playing experience over her first three seasons and has proven, time after time, her ability to rise to and shine in the most pressure-packed situations.

Who is she?

Senior; goalkeeper; from Houston, Texas

Career Stats

3629 minutes over 61 games; 244 saves; 69 goals allowed, allows 1.14 goals on average; .780 save percentage; 10 shutouts; 45-15 win-loss record.

2022 Review

Experience, longevity, talent — Annabel Skubisz embodies all of these.

She quickly made a name for herself in 2020, playing in 16 of 18 games and starting 14, while posting 65 saves and four shutouts. Then, in her sophomore season, Skubisz led the ‘Cats to a national title, and her role in the program’s first-ever championship can’t be overstated. She started 20 games and had the second-most minutes on the team, but being an underclassman seemed to have no effect on her, even on the game’s biggest stage. Across the four NCAA games against North Carolina, Iowa, Harvard and Liberty, she recorded nine saves and allowed only one goal to Harvard in the semifinals.

In the 2022 season, she was of course stellar once again, leading NU to its second consecutive championship game. She had the most minutes of not just any Wildcat but of anything goalkeeper in the nation, also totaling 111 saves — the most by a NU keeper since 2008 and 43 more than in her previous season. Skubisz's talent especially was clear in her five shoutouts, with four coming against top 20 teams in No. 18 Duke, No. 14 Boston College and No. 11 Liberty and No. 6 Michigan.

While Northwestern didn’t hoist the trophy at the end of the season, Skubisz had noteworthy NCAA outings that shouldn’t go ignored— perhaps a product of her tournament experience or just because she is that good. The first two games of the tournament went into shootouts, with Skubisz allowing just one goal in each and recording five saves against No. 25 Miami Ohio and four against No. 11 Iowa. Against the RedHawks, the Texan even forced three missed penalty shots.

In the Final Four, she had five saves against No. 2 Maryland and allowed one goal.

North Carolina may have come out on top in the final minute to claim the championship, but it was one of Skubisz’s best performances. She surrendered only two goals to one of the most storied programs in field hockey —not to mention the final shot coming from none other than Erin Matson, arguably the best field hockey player ever — and put up seven saves, one of which came off a Matson penalty stroke.


For a goalie of this caliber, Skubisz is quite honestly underrated. She’s as good, if not better than, any other goalie in the nation. With such a talented team, especially one featuring Bente Baekers, the keeper position may go overlooked, but Skubisz can be the difference and often has. Especially last season, when Northwestern got behind early or went into overtime, Skubisz was a crucial piece in giving the Wildcats a fighting chance. That will continue into this year. If Skubisz is solid, the ‘Cats are solid. She has two straight seasons that ended in a title game, and she’s started every NCAA game that she’s seen as a Wildcat.

She’ll be defending the goal in just about every game for as long as possible, given that health permits and the game is stowed away. Maybe the best way to sum up the expectations for Skubisz is to say that she’ll probably be slotting her name into the Northwestern record book a few times this season. In some ways, it seems Annabel Skubisz may be the heart of this team.