No. 7 NU field hockey upsets No. 1 Iowa
By Logan Schiciano
Northwestern women’s field hockey (13-4, 4-3 B1G) had never beat the top-ranked team in the nation in its 41-year history – until Friday. Northwestern pulled off its biggest win of the season, defeating the previously undefeated No. 1 Iowa Hawkeyes (16-1, 7-1 B1G) 2-1 in Iowa City.
After 11 days off following their 6-1 victory against Michigan State on homecoming weekend, the ‘Cats showed no signs of rust, making a statement with a goal in the opening minutes. Northwestern went up after junior Alia Marshall redirected a shot from her teammate Maren Seidel past Iowa goalie Grace McGuire. It was Marshall’s third goal of the season and first since Sept. 17.
It was then a defensive test for the ‘Cats. The Hawkeyes outshot NU 10-7 in the contest and drew six corners to their opponents three. However, their efforts were stifled for much of the game behind an outstanding performance from Northwestern goalie Annabel Skubisz. The sophomore had six saves on seven Iowa shot attempts.
The lone Hawkeye score was a dramatic one, coming off a highlight-reel goal from senior Ciara Smith. She laid out to connect with a cross from her teammate Maddy Murphy to pull Iowa even midway through the fourth period.
Just minutes later, the ‘Cats regained their goal advantage when midfielder Ana Medina Garcia ripped a shot off a deflected corner attempt. The ball found the back of the cage and sent Northwestern into a frenzy. Medina’s goal proved to be the difference as the ‘Cats would hold on for their thirteenth victory of the year.
Northwestern now stands in fourth place in the competitive Big Ten, with a record of 4-3 in the conference. With one more regular-season game against Indiana at Lakeside Field on Sunday, the ‘Cats are positioned to make a run in next weekend’s Big Ten Tournament held at Rutgers University.