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    Home Debut on Tap for Saturday as Northwestern Faces Ball State

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Maria Kovalchuk notched a goal in Tuesday's win at No. 13 Wake Forest.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Maria Kovalchuk notched a goal in Tuesday's win at No. 13 Wake Forest.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Sept. 13, 2012

    #10 Northwestern (7-1) vs. Ball State (1-4)
    Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012
    Leonard B. Thomas Athletic Complex
    Evanston, Ill. • Noon
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    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern's field hockey team finally returns to Evanston on Saturday as it opens its home season by taking on Ball State. The contest gets underway at noon at Leonard B. Thomas Athletic Complex.

    The Last Meeting
    Northwestern3
    Ball State1
    September 13, 2011
    Muncie, Ind.
    'Cats Take Down Cardinals, 3-1
    It was a hot and windy afternoon in central Indiana, but Northwestern kept its cool and earned its fifth win this season with a 3-1 victory over Ball State at BSU Turf Field on Tuesday. The win was Northwestern's 15th against Ball State in 24 meetings.

    The Wildcats -- ranked No. 10 in this week's NFHCA poll -- opened their season with eight consecutive games away from home, but still came away with a 7-1 record. NU was 4-0 in its true road games, all against ranked foes.

    Following two more road games next week, NU will play six of ensuing seven games at home.

    Northwestern posted two wins in the state of North Carolina earlier this week, defeating No. 9 Duke 4-2 on Sunday before topping No. 13 Wake Forest 5-2 on Tuesday. Chelsea Armstrong led the way in the victory over the Demon Deacons, posting her fourth career four-goal game while also contributing an assist.

    Armstrong, Northwestern's all-time leader with 82 goals and 199 points, ranks first in the Big Ten with 11 goals and 26 points this season. Tara Puffenberger has provided the 'Cats with a solid one-two punch alongside Armstrong as she is third in the conference with six goals and 15 points. Lisa McCarthy, one of 11 freshman on the team's roster, ranks tied for first in the Big Ten with six assists.

     

     

    Their efforts have helped NU rank second in the league so far this season with an average of 3.5 goals per game. Meanwhile, behind goalkeeper Maddy Carpenter, Northwestern allows an average of just 1.25 goals per game to rank first in the Big Ten.

    Scouting Ball State
    The Cardinals (1-4) posted a 4-3 overtime win over Lehigh to open the season, but have dropped each of their last four matches by at least three goals. Ball State fell to Longwood, 6-1, in their most recent contest last Sunday. Tori Widrick has scored four of the team's seven goals so far this season, while Allie White has two scores. Maddi Elliott and Shelby Henley have split time in goal for the Cardinals. Beth Maddox is in her third season as head coach at Ball State.

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