Sept. 27, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Freshman Dominique Masters recorded a hat trick and classmate Isabel Flens scored the game-winner in overtime as No. 12 Northwestern posted a wild 4-3 victory over No. 14 Iowa Friday afternoon at Lakeside Field in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
The Wildcats stormed out of the gates, putting the pressure on the Hawkeyes from the start. After having a goal in the opening minute of play disallowed, NU earned consecutive penalty corners five minutes in and the second one resulted in Masters beating Kelsey Boyce to give the hosts the early advantage. Lisa McCarthy and Julia Retzky were credited with assists on the play.
The trio teamed up again exactly 10 minutes later on another corner as Masters tallied her fourth goal of the year, making it a 2-0 advantage for Northwestern.
The 'Cats would carry the lead into halftime as it held advantages of 5-2 in shots and 6-2 in corners.
However, just like a year ago in the regular-season finale in Iowa City, the two-goal deficit proved to be not too big for the Hawkeyes to overcome. Following a quiet opening 10 minutes of the second half for both sides, Natalie Cafone took a pass from Dani Hemeon to tally her eighth goal of the year to make it 2-1 at 45:25.
The comeback was complete for the visitors a little over nine minutes later as Hemeon scored off a corner feed from Niki Schultheis to tie the match. Before the Wildcats knew what hit them, Iowa struck yet again just 57 seconds later as Cafone scored her ninth of the year. The stunning three-goal rally gave the Hawkeyes a 3-2 edge with 14:25 remaining.
Following a timeout, Northwestern continued to push forward in the hopes of notching the equalizer. The Wildcats earned four corner opportunities but couldn't cash in before head coach Tracey Fuchs opted to pull goalkeeper Maddy Carpenter with 3:43 still remaining.
As the clock ticked under two minutes remaining, a senior and a freshman teamed up to help save the 'Cats. Tara Puffenberger fired a blast into the circle for Masters who made a diving try, tipping the ball past Boyce to tie the game with just 1:47 left in regulation.
The hat trick was the first of Masters' collegiate career and the second by a Northwestern player this season, joining Caroline Troncelliti who posted three goals at UMass Lowell on Sept. 2.
The contest would eventually go to overtime and Northwestern maintained the momentum, earning four more penalty corners, but Iowa was able to hold off the Wildcats each time. On the other end, Carpenter denied a shot by Cafone before NU broke out for a counter attack the other way.
Flens took a pass and found herself alone on the break with Boyce. The Iowa goalkeeper managed to save the initial shot, but the rebound came right back to Flens who was able to flick it over a prone Boyce and into the goal for the game-winner, setting off a celebration for the 'Cats.
The victory improved NU to 2-1 in overtime contests this season. The Wildcats dominated the game statistically, holding a 16-7 edge in shots and 15-3 in corners, but it took a late comeback to earn the crucial win.
Northwestern returns to action at noon Sunday at Lakeside Field as it hosts 19th-ranked Michigan.
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