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    Moment No. 8: Armstrong's Moment of Grandeur

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    The 2012-13 academic year was a memorable one for Northwestern. Over the next several weeks, we will celebrate the conference championships, noteworthy wins and significant milestones that the Wildcats accumulated during the past year. Be sure to follow along at NUsports.com as we revisit the top 20 moments.

    Moment No. 8
    Date Oct. 21, 2012
    Location Lakeside Field | Evanston, Ill.
    Original Story Armstrong is Grand on Senior Day as Wildcats Beat Bears, 6-0
    Watch Chelsea Armstrong Feature
    Social Media @NUFHCats
    Top 20 Countdown Northwestern's Top 20 Moments of 2012-13 Countdown

    Entering the 2012 season, only eight players in the history of NCAA Division I field hockey had amassed 100 career goals. Northwestern's standout Chelsea Armstrong increased that mark by one.

    In the final home game of her remarkable career as a Wildcat, Armstrong tallied four goals as NU rolled to a 6-0 victory over Missouri State on Senior Day, allowing the Perth, Australia, native to reach the century mark. Career tally No. 100 came at the 52:03 mark in the second half off an assist from Tara Puffenberger and was her 29th goal of the season, a total that led the nation during the regular season.

    Armstrong became the third player in Big Ten Conference history to achieve the milestone. The win over the Bears was Northwestern's 15th over a 16-game span and raised their season record to 16-2 at the time, highlighting the winningest campaign by the Wildcats in 23 years.

    Armstrong would be named a first-team All-American for the second-consecutive season while also being recognized as Northwestern's 2012-13 Female Athlete of the Year. She earned three All-America honors overall in her career as well as four first-team All-Big Ten and All-West Region selections as well as 14 times being recognized as the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.

    Wrapping Up the Experience of a Lifetime

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    Northwestern junior field hockey member Nikki Parsley wraps up her experience playing for the United States at the Four Nations Tournament in New Zealand.

     

    Since my last game in New Zealand, I have spent over 24 hours traveling, taken three flights, and slept only eight hours in the last two nights combined.  The good news is: I am finally home in Evanston.  

             

    But, before I said my final farewell to Kiwiland and since my last blog, we wrapped up the second Four Nations tournament.  During our seventh game of the trip we played Argentina again. The match ended in a 1-1 draw, which qualified us for the bronze medal game against Korea. Previously we had beaten them 2-1 and lost 4-1. 

     

    In my opinion, this was the most exciting game of the tournament for us. Not only did we end up winning 1-0, but we were finally able to execute the majority of our pregame plan. Throughout the eight games, we spent countless hours talking about adjustments we needed to make on and off the field in order to produce more wins. It was amazing to see all of the time spent watching film and studying our opponent's pay off, because hard work does not always guarantee success. However, throughout each game we made significant improvements, and by the end of the tour we finished better than we started.

     

    Over the last few days, I have had a lot of time to talk with others and privately reminisce on my first tour with the National team. I have determined that even if I had time to write a book, I could not properly articulate the uniqueness of my trip. This is most likely due to the wide array of emotions I felt on a daily, and sometimes hourly basis. I have never experienced so many highs and lows in such a short amount of time. Additionally, having the chance to turn one of my lifelong dreams (i.e. competing for my country) into reality is still a bit surreal.

     

    Much like other tours I have went on, it has been somewhat difficult to make the transition back into "regular" life. Even though I am unbelievably excited to be home and surrounded by my best friends and teammates again, I often find myself sidetracked by thoughts of the trip. Because this tour has the potential to greatly impact my future, it is easy to overanalyze the experience. Consequently, my current challenge is to put my blinders on and move full speed ahead, trusting that I left everything on the field in New Zealand.

     

    "I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us." -Philippians 3: 12-14

    Striving For Greatness

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    By Nikki Parsley

     

    Northwestern junior Nikki Parsley is currently competing for Team USA at the Four Nations Tournament in New Zealand. As her journey winds to a close, she checks in with another update.

     

    On the 22nd day of my trip "I Love It" by Icona Pop routinely flooded my ears. As the alarm sounded, I half consciously rolled out of bed, and noted that my legs ached, but only dully.  This was progress, because over the past few days my body had pleaded, on more than one occasion, that I stop the madness. 

     

    While I have certainly pushed myself physically throughout my field hockey career at Northwestern, playing at the international level requires a new level of fitness entirely. I have observed throughout the tournament that all of the top players in the world share something special in common: they are comfortable being uncomfortable. Even when they walk off the pitch after a 70-minute match, they never show signs of discomfort. While I realize that these women are all in unbelievable shape, I think that this is more of a mental skill than physical ability. This is an attitude that I desire to possess. In fact, this is a mentality I must possess to have success at this level. I am learning that the internal drive to push boundaries is one of the most powerful tools I can add to my arsenal.

     

    As I spent a significant amount of reflecting on this newfound understanding, I was reminded of a scene from "A League of Their Own." As cheesy as recalling this may be, it is the best way I can convey my thoughts.

     

    Jimmy Dugan: Dottie, if you want to go back to Oregon and make a hundred babies, great, I'm in no position to tell anyone how to live. But sneaking out like this, quitting, you'll regret it for the rest of your life. Baseball is what gets inside you. It's what lights you up, you can't deny that.

    Dottie Hinson: It just got too hard.

    Jimmy Dugan: It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.

     

    Calling international field hockey challenging is an understatement. But, Jimmy Dugan said it precisely: the hard is what makes it great. The hard pushes me to get up and fight through a mistake I have made too many times. The hard challenges me to make one more recovery sprint at the end of game eight. The hard is what fuels my desire to relentlessly chase the people at the top of the game. 

     

    I am convinced that I have yet to fully comprehend all that this trip has set in motion. I know that I am on the verge of something. Is it success or failure? This I do not know, but of something else I am certain - "I am ready to risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise, and dream more than others think is practical." This trip has reaffirmed my desire to make the national team and eventually represent my country at the Olympics. I am unbelievably thankful for this tour, because I now have a better understanding of what it takes to get where I want to go.

    Two years ago, I was a freshman in the dorms and field hockey sensation Chelsea Armstrong was an Australian transfer student who just happened to live next door. Her roommate was my best friend and teammate so I frequented their room often, many times only catching little bits of conversation with Chelsea before she ran off to one of her legendary late-night study sessions in the library. Her accent garnered a slew of hall-wide fans; a number that vastly increased when everyone figured out just how tremendous she was on the field. It became normal for floor mates to cover Chelsea's door in newspaper clippings that heralded her performances.


    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.

    Kaylee's Corner: Preseason Secrets

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    Kaylee Pohlmeyer web.JPGWith the Wildcats off to a 3-1 start to the 2011 campaign, senior Kaylee Pohlmeyer takes time out to reflect on what was an eventful stretch of preseason training, on and off the field hockey field.

    Kaylee's Corner: A New Perspective

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    Kaylee Pohlmeyer web.JPGJust 10 days away from our opening game against Kent State, the 'Cats field hockey team is starting its second week of preseason. With a young squad this year, we have had intense practices and workouts to get everyone ready for a challenging season.

    My name is Kaylee Pohlmeyer, and I am No. 19 for the Wildcats. This fall will be my senior season at Northwestern, something I have been looking forward to for a long time! But it's going to be much different than I expected, for I am playing a role on the team that still hasn't sunk in quite yet. Name a position, and I have most likely played it: defense as a freshman, midfield as a sophomore, and a mix of midfield and forward as a junior. But as it turns out, I have found myself in a new position for my senior season, and that is on the sidelines.