As fans prepare for field hockey to return, they anxiously await to see how the new talent on Northwestern’s team fits in and who on the roster will step up. Amidst the change, they’ll find great comfort in seeing familiar, proven talent on the field. Alia Marshall is as familiar with Northwestern field hockey as anyone, and in her fifth season, she brings knowledge, leadership, experience and a great deal of talent to the roster.
Who is she?
Graduate student; midfield/back; from Rehoboth Beach, De.; U.S. Women’s National Team Member
3,733 minutes over 85 games; seven goals; 38 points; 80 SOG%.
Marshall has been essential to the ‘Cats over her career, playing midfield and helping to anchor the defense. The Women’s National Team member’s contributions and role in Northwestern’s success really materialized in her senior season, in which she started all 24 games.
The defensive middie is not necessarily in a position to score many goals — though she did tally two — but that didn’t keep her from having the second-most assists on the team. Marshall was Tracy Fuchs’ go-to inserter for corners, and it’s easy to see why given her 13 assists and 17 points. Many of these came in big moments with the Delaware native notching assists in the Big 10 quarterfinals, semifinals, the NCAA quarterfinals, the Final Four and the championship. She’s a player with a great ability to manage the field, whether that be helping the ‘Cats defend or score goals.
Marshall choosing to stay for a fifth season is nothing short of a blessing. Having played 20 games as a freshman, her significance to the program over her tenure is evident. Now, given the departures of Kayla Blas and Shannon Daley, it’s crucial to have such an experienced player lead the backs.
Fuchs’ has a roster with lots of experience, but that is very much a feature of the offense. Filling in for Blas and Daley will likely be sophomore Maja Zivojnovic and junior Lauren Hunter. Zivojnovic got off to a great start in 2022, starting the first 11 games of the year, before suffering a season-ending injury, and Hunter has garnered up a decent amount of playing time but not at the starting position. Marshall will be expected to lead the backs and hold together the team in front of Annabel Skubisz.
Along with being held to a high defensive standard, Fuchs will look to Marshall to continue a trend of gathering many assists and helping the team finish on corners. Given her skill set, Marshall may top off her team in points and minutes played this season.