Sept. 18, 2011
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Lakeside Field)
Score: Northwestern 5, #18 Virginia 3
Records: NU (7-2, 0-0 Big Ten), Virginia (4-5, 0-0 ACC)
Next NU Event: Sunday, Sept. 27 vs. Saint Louis Evanston, Ill. 3 p.m.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Junior Chelsea Armstrong had a banner day as the Wildcats ousted 18th-ranked Virginia, 5-3, at a very rainy Lakeside Field Sunday afternoon. Armstrong shattered Sannie Van Djick's 23-year record for career points on her first of three goals in the game, now claiming sole possession of the top spot with 145 points. With the hat trick -- the sixth of her career -- she also placed herself atop Northwestern's all-time career goals list, joining Nancy Fisher, with 59 goals.
"Chelsea was just on fire today," head coach Tracey Fuchs said. "What a great player, person, leader. We're so proud of her. That record's been around for a while, and it couldn't have happened to a better person."
Northwestern got off to slow start as Virginia capitalized on Wildcat turnovers early, scoring the game's first goal only three minutes in. With an assist from Alexandra Jahnle, Kelsey LeBlanc snuck by Northwestern's defense and converted from 12 yards out to make it 1-0.
Virginia maintained offensive possession throughout much of the first half, not allowing the Wildcats to even get a shot off until there were 10 minutes remaining in the period. After a penalty corner for UVA kept the ball in the Northwestern circle, the Cavaliers' Lane Smith took a quick pass from Carissa Vittese and edged it by NU's freshman goaltender Maddy Carpenter to give UVA a 2-0 lead.
Momentum shifted in the Wildcats' favor, however, as time ran down in the first. Helped by some great offensive touches to move the ball down the field, Armstrong got Northwestern on the board with a great shot in the circle off a Morgan Joffe assist. With that goal, Armstrong claimed sole possession of the career record and gave NU energy heading into halftime.
"The momentum was shifting back and forth [early in the first half] and I knew that if we got one, we would have a good chance to get back into the game," Fuchs said. "They're a great team and a Final Four team last year. Once we got the first one and got to halftime, I saw a new look in their eyes and they just came out and played the best second half I've seen all season."
The Wildcats took off in the second half, starting just 50 seconds in with yet another Armstrong goal. This time, Regan Mooney took a penalty corner and Julia Retzky set up a beautiful ball for Armstrong, who rocketed a shot past Virginia's Jenny Johnstone to tie things at 2-2.
"We were looking to come out today and do the same thing we did against Cal on Friday, so to go down 2-0 was a bit of a kick," Armstrong said. "Tracey said at halftime we needed to go back and do what we did on Friday and pick up the intensity a little. For the first 10 minutes we came out and lifted each other and it showed on the scoreboard."
Both teams traded shot back-and-forth before NU grabbed control and earned another corner. Once again, Mooney fed to Retzky who set up a shot at the top of the circle for Armstrong to fire one in goal. The score put the Wildcats on top and placed the Aussie in a tie for first for career goals at Northwestern.
There was no quit in the Wildcat offense as they kept the ball in Virginia territory. Less than a minute after Armstrong gave NU the lead, Nikki Parsley added a goal of her own, her fourth of the season, giving the Wildcats a 4-2 advantage. Virginia kept fighting, though, and eventually got possession back in their favor, leading to a Katie Robinson goal, cutting the Wildcats' lead to 4-3.
Undeterred, two minutes later, Mooney collected her fourth goal of the season with an unassisted shot from 12 yards out to build a 5-3 cushion. Solid defense by Northwestern kept the ball out of Virginia's hands for the last 15 minutes, effectively cutting off UVA's chances for a comeback.
Next up for Northwestern is a road trip to Bloomington, Ind., to kick off the Big Ten season, followed by a stop in Louisville to face New Hampshire. The next home game for the 'Cats will be on Sept. 27 against Saint Louis.