Oct. 7, 2011
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Lakeside Field)
Score: Michigan 3, Northwestern 2 (2OT)
Records: UM (9-3, 2-1 Big Ten), NU (10-5, 1-3 Big Ten),
Next NU Event: Sunday, Oct. 9 vs. Yale Evanston, Ill. Noon
EVANSTON, Ill. -- No. 14 Northwestern held an early 2-0 lead over 13th-ranked Michigan Friday at Lakeside Field, but the Wolverines recorded three hard-fought, unanswered goals to edge the 'Cats, 3-2, in a double-overtime thriller in front of 217 raucous spectators.
"Today was just a hard-fought battle," head coach Tracey Fuchs said. "We played 60 good minutes, but anytime you are facing a good team, you can't have lapses and that's what happened to us today. I thought we played really hard, but need to continue to develop from a mental standpoint. I think we have a great opportunity to do that Sunday against a tough Yale team."
Northwestern attacked first as junior Chelsea Armstrong added to her NU career goals record with a score just three minutes into the game. The shot came off a corner - one of Northwestern's 12 on the day - with an insertion from Regan Mooney and a hold by Julia Retzky, which set Armstrong up nicely for her 21st goal of the season.
For the 11th time this season, the 'Cats scored the contest's first goal, but continued o attack in offense with reckless abandon. With the early lead over the Maize and Blue, Northwestern asserted itself with a nice attack, keeping the UM defense on its heels. The 'Cats added two more shots in the first half, but couldn't convert. Michigan edged closer to cutting into the lead as time was winding down, earning two corners with under a minute left, but freshman Wildcat goalie, Maddy Carpenter recorded two big saves to allow the 'Cats to hold on to their slim 1-0 lead going into halftime.
As soon as the second half started, Northwestern seized momentum once again. Merely two minutes in, Armstrong netted her second goal of the day off of a penalty corner insertion by Mooney. Her 22 goals this year leads the Big Ten and ties her own mark for third-best for goals in a season in NU program history. With the two assists on the day, Mooney extended her conference-leading mark to 18 assists.
Just under 10 minutes later, however, Michigan stepped up. The Wolverines earned two penalty corners and reeled off three-straight shots. Ainsley McCallister converted the third shot, slipping one past carpenter to cut NU's lead to 2-1 with 23 minutes left. Northwestern retaliated with three consecutive of its own, but only managed one shot, which sailed wide left of the cage.
The Wolverines quickly snagged possession and drove down the length of the pitch, and McCallister's shot was deflected by Axelle Wouters and trickled in past Carpenter to even things up at two apiece. Once again, Northwestern used its attack to fire off five straight shots over a five-minute stretch, but still the Wildcats could not capitalize.
After two rapid saves by Carpenter as time wound down, Northwestern regained the ball and was given a penalty corner with under 50 seconds left in regulation. Michigan's Christie Barwick, who leads the Big Ten in goals allowed per game, saved Armstrong's sparkling shot, which would have given the 'Cats the lead as time expired.
The first overtime period flew by as both teams - now limited to six position players each - resorted to long passes on the open pitch. Each side had ample opportunities, Northwestern most notably with an Armstrong shot that went just high of the cage. Nikki Parsley added a potential game-winning shot of her own, but Barwick stood firm in the net.
With things still tied as the second overtime began, Michigan quickly gained an edge by getting some nice touches, leading to an offensive drive down the pitch. Just 57 seconds into the final overtime period, senior Bryn Bain capitalized on a corner directly fed to her. Bryn fired a shot past NU's defense, just beside Carpenter and into the cage, ending the game and the 'Cats' three-game home winning streak.
Northwestern takes to the pitch again at noon Sunday against Yale. The team is participating in a nation-wide event, "Stick it to Cancer," and, aside from wearing pink for the game, NU is giving away t-shirts to the first 100 fans in attendance.
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