A year ago, the Michigan field hockey team had a tough battle with Northwestern, needing double overtime to defeat the Wildcats in Evanston.
This season, with the 12th-ranked Wolverines (5-3 Big Ten, 10-6 overall) and No. 10 Northwestern (4-3 Big Ten, 11-6 overall) only one game apart in the Big Ten standings, once again, it took an overtime period to decide a winner. And once again, Michigan came out on top, winning 3-2.
The Wildcats notched the first goal around the 17-minute mark, when Northwestern midfielder Isabel Flens knocked the ball into the net after a penalty corner.
While the two teams traded shots for the remainder of the half, with the Wolverines holding a shot advantage, neither team could find the back of the net. It wasn’t until there were just 30 seconds to go in the half when freshman midfielder Fay Keijer found the back of the net to even the score.
Coming out of the halftime break, the two teams with Carnivoran mascots traded swipes with one another, though neither could find the net. Finally, after 18 minutes of second-half play, junior midfielder Katie Trombetta gave Michigan a 2-1 lead off a penalty corner.
The lead would prove to be short-lived, though. Nine minutes later, the Wildcats knotted the game when Flens scored off another penalty corner.
Michigan and Northwestern continued to battle until the 70-minute mark — the end of regulation — but neither team could break through, and the two teams headed to extra time.
In the overtime period, the Wolverines came out strong, outshooting the Wildcats 4-2 early on. But Northwestern goalie Lindsa von der Luft was up to challenge through six minutes of overtime play, thwarting any Michigan attacks.
But, six and half minutes into overtime, the Wolverines lined up for a penalty corner. Sophomore forward Emma Way passed the ball to freshman midfielder Meg Dowthwaite, who was able to sneak the ball past von der Luft for the final goal and another overtime victory in Evanston.
It marked the second game in a row that Dowthwaite scored a game-winning overtime goal for the Wolverines, following the win over Iowa last Sunday. It also marks the team’s final Big Ten game, though it plays a tune-up game against Louisville before embarking to College Park for the Big Ten Tournament.
Editor’s note: Michigan field hockey coach Marcia Pankratz and her team declined to be interviewed for this story.