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    Kaylee's Corner: Maryland: Crab Feasts and Field Hockey

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    In my first season here at Northwestern in 2008, one of our first road trips was to the University of Maryland, not far from my hometown. That year, my parents hosted our team for dinner, which consisted of a wonderful spread of food highlighted by a crab feast. Four years later, our team returned to Maryland, and also to my house, on a weekend that coincided with my birthday. It is ironic that we happened to be playing in my hometown when I turned 18 and then again when I turned 21. My 21st birthday may have been celebrated much differently than most, but I will take our wins over American University and Ball State, a crab feast and spending time with my teammates, their families and my coaches at my house any day.

    Our team is slightly obsessed with food, and which restaurants we go to is always a highlight of our trips (besides actually playing of course!). To get the full East Coast experience, we went to Wawa straight after landing in Baltimore. Wawa, for those of you Midwesterners and West Coasters that have not had the privilege, is a glorified gas station that sells amazing subs, sandwiches and hoagies. For dinner that night, we went to not only a team favorite, but my personal favorite restaurant, Outback Steakhouse. Chelsea Armstrong, a junior from Perth, Australia, was especially excited because going to an "Australian" themed restaurant always eases her homesickness.

    Saturday night, after a tough loss to the defending national champs from Maryland, the team ventured to my house to have what was for many their first crab feast. A Maryland-style crab feast includes blue crabs, boiled and smothered in Old Bay seasoning, that you have to pick apart in order to find the meat.

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    Although a lot of work, crabs are delicious once you finally get them open. Tracey Fuchs, our head coach, picked through two crabs faster than you can say "Go Cats." I would say that she enjoyed them. So did fellow East Coasters Colleen Petronchak and Nikki Parsley, who outlasted everyone and didn't cave for the "real" food that was inside. From pulled pork to purple potatoes, cookie cake to cake pops, my mom put together an amazing spread that left everyone so full! I would like to think that the amazing food gave us the go to beat then-No. 8 American the next day.

    As if filling up on all the best food that only the East Cost has to offer wasn't enough, at the airport we were all star struck when we spotted DJ Pauly D from Jersey Shore. Although his bodyguard would not let him take a picture with us, he did shake my hand when I informed him that we had just beat American University (and that I was turning 21 the next day). It is safe to say that everyone had an amazing time in Maryland, and I would like to thank my parents for hosting such an amazing team dinner for NUFH. Stay tuned to hear about our games against Cal and UVA, and also to get to know the seniors and freshman of my team!

    Go 'Cats!

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