July 6, 2009
USA Field Hockey National Championship -- Complete Results
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Rising senior Courtney Plaster-Strange (Louisville, Ky./Kentucky Country Day) represented the Midwest region at the recent USA Field Hockey Women's National Championship tournament in Virginia, scoring two goals while helping the Midwest to a fourth-place team finish.
After falling in its opening match of the tournament, the Midwest rebounded in its second game by defeating the New England squad 3-2. The Midwest suffered a 2-1 defeat against New Jersey before a goal by Plaster-Strange helped her team earn a 1-1 tie against the High Performance group representing Pennsylvania and California.
Plaster-Strange's second goal came against the Mid-Atlantic squad, which held a 3-0 lead over the Midwest before the Wildcat senior put her team on board. The Midwest eventually tied the game 3-3 before the Mid-Atlantic team broke the tie in the 62nd minute to earn the victory.
"The national championship tournament is a great event to participate in because it's a chance to improve your skills against other elite players," said NU head coach Tracey Fuchs. "Courtney did a great job taking advantage of her time training in the Midwest High Performance Center and her hard work really paid off in the tournament."
In her three-year career at Northwestern, Plaster-Strange has scored 13 goals and recorded five assists in 52 games played. She was third on the team in 2008 with 17 points.
Fellow Wildcat Stacy Uchida also participated in the national championship as an alternate member of the Midwest team.
Held in conjunction with the National Futures Championship, the USA Field Hockey Women's National Championship is a round-robin tournament featuring the top athletes from USA Field Hockey's six regional High Performance Centers.
Beginning in the early spring, High Performance Centers serving the New England, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Midwest, South and California regions conduct open trials for college-age and older athletes. Once selected to a High Performance Center, athletes receive elite-level training from some of the nation's top coaches over the course of the spring.
At the conclusion of the program, each High Performance Center selects a team to represent its region at the National Championships. Athletes competing in the tournament have the opportunity for selection to the U.S. National Squad.
Plaster-Strange and Uchida begin their senior campaigns at Northwestern on Friday, Aug. 28, when NU opens its 2009 season against Boston University at home in the first game under new head coach Tracey Fuchs.