Site: Durham, N.C. (Jack Katz Stadium)
Score: #11 Northwestern 4, #9 Duke 2
Records: NU (6-1, 0-0 Big Ten), Duke (2-4, 0-1 ACC)
Next NU Event: Tuesday, Sept. 11 -- at Wake Forest (Winston-Salem, N.C.), 3 p.m. CT
DURHAM, N.C. -- Tara Puffenberger, Lisa McCarthy and Chelsea Armstrong each had a goal and an assist as the 11th-ranked Northwestern field hockey team rolled to its fifth-consecutive win, defeating No. 9 Duke 4-2 Sunday afternoon at Jack Katz Stadium.
"I think our team battled hard today against a good Duke team," Northwestern head coach Tracey Fuchs said. "Our corner execution was much better today. Up until the last 12 minutes of the game, I thought our defense played well. We'll need to continue that on Tuesday against Wake Forest."
NU came into the contest with a decisive personnel advantage as Duke had just 13 players in uniform, due in large part to having five players at the Junior Pan American Games in Mexico. The Blue Devils also played a double-overtime contest at Wake Forest on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Northwestern was down one player in the contest due to Nikki Parsley's participation for the United States at the Junior Pan American Games.
Neither team mustered much offense through the majority of the first half, though Duke did manage three penalty corners that the Wildcats were able to dodge.
Northwestern tallied the first goal of the match as it was a familiar duo teaming up on the tally. Armstrong won the ball in the defensive end and wove her way through traffic, finding Puffenberger to her right. Puffenberger was able to deposit a shot past Ashley Camano and just under the crossbar with 5:24 remaining in the period to give the Wildcats the lead.
NU was able to extend its advantage in the final minute of the half. Puffenberger made a strong run along the end line from the right wing and fed one in front to Kaylee Pohlmeyer who tapped it home to make it 2-0 with 32.9 seconds remaining in the stanza.
It took Northwestern just over four minutes into the second half to build upon its advantage as the Wildcats earned a penalty corner. Julia Retzky stopped McCarthy's feed and Armstrong fired a rocket home past Camano to make it 3-0 in the visitors' favor. The tally was Armstrong's team-leading seventh of the year.
The 'Cats continued to pour it on the Blue Devils. Another penalty corner earned resulted in McCarthy tapping home a rebound for her first collegiate goal to make it 4-0 with 15:49 left.
Duke spoiled the shutout with just under six minutes remaining as Mary Nielsen scored off a penalty corner to make it 4-1. The Blue Devils would get one more goal by Devon Gagliardi with 1:28 to go, but NU held on the rest of the way for the convincing win.
Both teams finished with seven shots and five penalty corners.
Northwestern returns to action at 3 p.m. Central time Tuesday as it travels to No. 13 Wake Forest.
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