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    No. 20 Wildcats Open 2012 Season At Cardinal Classic

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Senior Chelsea Armstrong and the 'Cats are one of three ranked teams in this weekend's Cardinal Classic.

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Senior Chelsea Armstrong and the 'Cats are one of three ranked teams in this weekend's Cardinal Classic.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Aug. 24, 2012

    Northwestern (0-0, 0-0) vs. Miami (OH) (0-0,0-0)
    Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012
    Cardinal Classic
    Louisville, Ky. • 11 a.m. CT
    Gametracker: NUsports.com

    Northwestern vs. Louisville OR Northeastern
    Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012
    Cardinal Classic
    Louisville, Ky. • 10 a.m. OR 2 p.m. CT
    Gametracker: NUsports.com

    Field_Hockey_Preseason_Poll Get Acrobat Reader

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern opens the 2012 season on the road this weekend at the Cardinal Classic in Louisville, Ky., where they will square off against Miami (Ohio) Saturday at 11 a.m. CT. The Wildcats, tabbed 20th in the nation in the preseason Penn Monto/NFHCA Preseason Poll, will face either host Louisville or Northeastern Sunday. Stay tuned for opponent and game time following Saturday's action.

    "We are really excited to start this season," head coach Tracey Fuchs said. "We have a great mix of experience and leadership along with young talent which gives us much more depth than in past years. This weekend should be a great test for us."

    On The Road Again
    The Wildcats' first eight games are away from the friendly confines of Lakeside Field, taking place in three different states. Following this weekend's affair in Louisville, NU makes a six-day, four game swing through California, taking on Stanford (11th in the Preseason Poll), California (16th), Pacific and UC Davis. A trip to the opposite coast--North Carolina--rounds out the final two road games of the opening stretch, as the 'Cats tangle with ACC powers Duke (5th) and Wake Forest (13th). Northwestern's home opener is on Sept. 15 against Ball State

    Tough Competition in Cardinal Classic
    Three of the four teams in this weekend's event are ranked in the top 20. NU is the highest ranked team at 20th, while Northeastern is right on its heels at 21st and Louisville is 23rd.

    Armstrong's Back!
    Fifth-year senior and two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Chelsea Armstrong returns to the pitch for her final year of collegiate hockey. In addition to the League accolades, Armstrong has re-written Northwestern's record book, becoming its all-time leading goal scorer (71) and points leader (173) this past season. She was named a first-team All-American as well as was an NFCA All-West Region honoree. Armstrong, a senior, was named a finalist for the Honda Award last year and received the Big Ten Medal of Honor. She was named team captain for the second-consecutive season.

    Armstrong Leads Big Ten Preseason Players to Watch List
    Armstrong was one of three Wildcats named to the Big Ten's Preseason Players to Watch List, which came out this past week. She is joined by All-Big Ten performer Nikki Parsley and newcomer Tara Puffenberger. Parsley, a junior, earned a first-team All-Big Ten bid last season, knocking in 10 goals on the season to go with an assist for 21 total points. At one point in the season, the Delaware native had a streak of six goals in five games.

    Puffenberger comes to Evanston after spending her first two seasons at the University of Virginia where she started as a freshman and sophomore. She sat out last season but was enrolled in classes at UVA. Puffenberger entered the college ranks as a two-time All-American and was a member of the United States Junior World Cup Team.

    Making A Name For Themselves
    Junior Nikki Parsley and sophomore Maddy Carpenter were busy this summer, represented NU at the national level. Parsley and Carpenter were named to the Junior National Team back in February and traveled to London to compete in four test matches against the U21 England National Team. Additionally, head coach Tracey Fuchs was an assistant coach with the US national team at the 2011 Pan American Games last fall when the US claimed its first gold medal and earned a berth to the Olympic Games in London.

    Holy Freshmen, Batman!
    Eleven of NU's 26 players are freshmen and two of those newcomers hail from overseas. Francesca Berry hails from England, while Lisa McCarthy joins the 'Cats from Ireland. Additionally, midfielder Tara Puffenberger transferred from Virginia where she started two seasons. She did not play field hockey last year, so therefore can hop right into action this year.

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