After four stellar seasons as a player at Northwestern, Zoe Almquist was hired by her former mentor Tracey Fuchs to begin her career as a Wildcats assistant coach in July 2011.
In her second year on the coaching staff, NU went 16-4 which was the program's winningest season since 1989 and the team reached No. 8 in the NFHCA national rankings.
Two Wildcats earned All-America honors as Chelsea Armstrong earned her second consecutive first-team selection while Tara Puffenberger was named to the third team. Four Northwestern players earned All-Big Ten selections, including Lisa McCarthy who became the first Wildcat to be honored as Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
As a team captain in her senior season, Almquist helped lead Northwestern to a second consecutive winning season in 2010, the first time the Wildcats posted back-to-back winning campaigns since 1994-95. Almquist was a rock on the defensive end of the field for NU, playing and starting in the final 60 games over her final three seasons.
In that time, Northwestern achieved its first national ranking since 2004 and recorded its best performance in Big Ten Conference action in more than a decade.
"Zoe was one of the hardest working players I have coached in my career and always managed to put the team ahead of her own interests, especially when that meant playing through injuries," Fuchs said. "She is a great influence on the next generation of Northwestern field hockey players as she teaches them keys to the game and what it means to be a dedicated student-athlete."
Despite contributing primarily as a defender, Almquist also made an impact on offense in her junior and senior seasons, finishing with 10 total goals and one assist. Those numbers included a hat-trick in a victory over Saint Louis as well as the game-winning goal with under two minutes to play in a 2-1 defeat of Miami (Ohio).
An exceptional student, Almquist was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten award recipient and graduated in June with a bachelor's degree in mathematics.