Indiana 2, Northwestern 1 (OT)
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Nov. 4, 2005
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Northwestern's field hockey team opened the Big Ten Conference Field Hockey Tournament Friday by falling to second-seeded Indiana in overtime, 2-1. Junior Christina Foley (Cape Elizabeth, Maine/Cape Elizabeth) scored her third goal of the season, while freshman goalkeeper Emily Kyle (San Francisco, Calif./San Francisco University High School) made a career-high 15 saves.
Northwestern lit up the scoreboard first, thanks in large part to its defensive pressure in the Indiana backfield. After the Wildcats gained possession at the Indiana 25-yard line, the 'Cats were awarded a penalty corner when senior Ellen Schlafly (St. Louis, Mo./MICDS) was fouled in the circle. On the ensuing corner, Schlafly pushed the ball to Christine Nannicelli (Walpole, Mass./Walpole), who stopped it for Foley. Foley rocketed a shot from the top of the circle past the IU goaltender to give Northwestern a 1-0 lead with 26:53 remaining in the first half.
After gaining the early 1-0 lead, the Wildcat defense stepped up in big way. While the Hoosiers enjoyed a 13-2 shot advantage in the first half -- including six shots-on-goal --- Kyle stifled the Hoosier offense, making six saves.
Junior Meghan Small (Bethlehem, Pa./Moravian Academy) also stepped up when the Wildcats needed her most. Indiana was awarded a series of penalty corners at the end of the half and managed shots on each. Small rushed out of the cage and made two big blocks to thwart the Hoosier threats, sending the teams into halftime with Northwestern ahead, 1-0.
The second half began much like the first half ended -- with the Wildcat defense making plays to keep Northwestern in the match.
The nation's eighth-ranked team wouldn't be held scoreless the entire match, however. At 40:47, Kyle saved a bullet from Meredith Brown. The Hoosiers quickly controlled the rebound and put it into the net to tie the match, 1-1.
Throughout the remainder of the second half, Indiana controlled the ball and was awarded seven penalty corners. Northwestern's defense stood tall, however, and stopped each of Indiana's 21 second-half shots.
As the clock wound down in the second half, the 'Cats were awarded a penalty corner. Foley took the shot, but it was blocked by an Indiana defender, sending the match into overtime.
Early in the overtime session, Northwestern's defense came up with big play after big play, as they had throughout the match.
With 7:33 left in the extra session, however, the Hoosiers gained control of the ball deep in Wildcat territory. Indiana junior Lydia Schrott took a pass in front of the Northwestern goal and put in the game-winner.
For the match, Indiana outshot the 'Cats 40-5, and enjoyed a 17-3 penalty corner advantage.
The Wildcat defense played admirably throughout the match, led by Kyle who tallied a career-high 15 saves.
With the loss, Northwestern ends its season with a 7-12 record.
"I'm proud of the way we played today," head coach Kelly McCollum said. "Statistically, we probably shouldn't have been in overtime, but our defense really stepped up when we needed them."