Aug. 31, 2009
Box Score |
EVANSTON, Ill. -- After hanging in with defending NCAA champion and top-ranked Maryland for more than 40 minutes, Northwestern eventually came up on the short end of a 7-2 decision Monday afternoon at Lakeside Field. Chelsea Armstrong--who on Monday was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week--scored her fourth goal in three games and senior Stephanie Fortson tallied her first goal of the season.
"Maryland's obviously a great team but I'm proud of the way we battled today," said head coach Tracey Fuchs. "We decided we were going to go out and attack on offense even if it meant giving up some protection in the back and I thought everyone did a great job creating chances, whether it was Chelsea, Courtney (Plaster-Strange), (Elizabeth) Dobbs or someone out of the midfield."
For the game, Northwestern and Maryland each earned seven penalty corners while the Terps managed to get off 17 shots compared to NU's nine. Last season, Maryland finished second in the nation in goals per game with 4.79.
Both teams each had solid opportunities in front of the cage in the first half. The Terps looked ready to claim the lead when Katie O'Donnell streaked down the left sideline and sent a bouncing ball across to Janessa Pope, but Pope couldn't get a clean stick on the ball and sent her attempt wide of the cage.
Minutes later, Armstrong took a clearing pass and sped nearly 50 yards down the left side, drawing UMD goalie Alicia Grater all the way out to the circle. Grater managed to disrupt Armstrong enough to force the NU sophomore's shot wide of the cage.
Maryland got on the board in the 31st minute when O'Donnell created another chance on the left wing and passed the ball to the goal mouth to a waiting Brigitte Strother, who finished the one-timer to put the Terps up 1-0. Strother did more damage before the half was through, scoring on a pass from Janessa Pope in a play very similar to the one on which she notched her first goal.
UMD made the score 3-1 eight minutes into the second frame but Fortson put the 'Cats on the board during a penalty corner in the 47th minute. After her initial push to start the play, Fortson crashed the cage and managed to push the ball across the line and underneath Grater for her fourth-career goal.
Maryland found its stride after that, however, scoring four goals in a 10-minute span, including the second and third of the game by Nicole Muracco.
Armstrong accounted for Northwestern's second goal of the day in the 66th minute when she fired home a shot from the left side of the circle off a penalty corner. At the other end of the field, junior Katie Lynch finished with seven saves in the cage for Northwestern.
Northwestern returns to action Saturday when it travels to Connecticut to take on Yale at 1 p.m. before facing Sacred Heart at 11 a.m. Sunday.
ARMSTRONG NAMED BIG TEN OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
After scoring three goals in her first two games as Wildcat this weekend, Chelsea Armstrong (Perth, Australia/Penrhos) was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. Armstrong scored both NU goals in her debut with the Wildcats, a 2-1 overtime victory against Boston University. Her first tally came off a second-half penalty corner--just one minute after the Terriers had taken a 1-0 lead--and she struck again 86 seconds into the extra session. The next day, Armstrong recorded the 'Cats' first goal and helped set up Courtney Plaster-Strange's game-winning score in a 3-2 overtime win against Ohio.
Armstrong is NU's first Offensive Player of the Week honoree since Alexandra Quinn on Sept. 22, 2008.