#15 Northwestern field hockey (8-7, 3-3 B1G) dominated for the majority of the game against #11 Rutgers (10-4, 2-4 B1G), totaling twice as many shots as the Scarlet Knights, but failed to come back after surrendering an early lead.
Rutgers came out swinging against the Wildcats, racking up a 2-0 lead within the first 20 minutes. Rutgers’ Linde van Schaik flicked the ball over ‘Cats goalkeeper in a scramble following a penalty corner to secure the Scarlet Knights’ first goal. Daphne Groothuis followed this with another Rutgers goal after a defensive turnover allowed her to control the ball in the box.
The ‘Cats responded with more pressure, forcing the Knights to play more and more on their defensive end. The ‘Cats drew their first penalty corner of the game, but failed to finish as Rutgers’ keeper blocked the shot. About two minutes later, senior Eva van Agt dribbled across the top of the circle, finishing off with a reverse chip that sent the ball straight past the Rutgers goalkeeper.
Though Northwestern dominated the last 10 minutes of the first half, they were unable to tie it up before the horn. Rutgers did not have as many opportunities to score as they had during the first part of the half, as much of the end of the half was spent on the ‘Cats offensive side.
The ‘Cats came out fired up in the second half, winning the possession battle and fighting hard to keep it on their offensive side. Within the first 25 minutes of the second half, they had tallied three penalty corners. On the third, the ‘Cats landed a shot in the back of the net, but the officials took back the goal for being too high.
Northwestern’s Lily Katzman was given a green card with eight minutes remaining in the game, giving Rutgers two minutes to play man-up. Rutgers took advantage of this, drawing two corners back-to-back. One shot was blocked by ‘Cats goalkeeper Annie Kalfas and one went wide. After the ‘Cats returned to full numbers, they pulled their goalkeeper to substitute in an extra field player. Though they were able to draw a penalty corner during the last three minutes, the shot was blocked, and as the clock ran down the ‘Cats were unable to score and tie up the game.
The team continues Big Ten play at noon on Sunday vs. Penn State.