Field hockey team ends affiliation with 1-0 victory

By Todd McMahon

After playing close games a majority of the season, it was only fitting the NIU field hockey team closed out 1991 with two more nailbiters.

The Huskies played the opposition even over the weekend at East Lansing, Mich. NIU matched its two foes with three total goals in two games, while earning a split in its final two games affiliated with Midwest Collegiate Field Hockey Conference action.

The University of Michigan dealt the Huskies a 3-2 defeat Saturday at Spartan Stadium. NIU came back in thriller form Sunday with a 1-0 overtime victory over host Michigan State University to end the year.

Freshman Christie Berta was the hero for the Huskies (6-11-1, 2-7-1) when she ended the scoreless game against Michigan State with 3:24 remaining in the extra period. It capped off a fine first year for the forward.

Berta saw action in 13 games this year and started in 12 of them. She finished the year third on Laurie Bell’s squad in goals, assists and total points with four, four and 12, respectively.

The offensive attack was lacking for both NIU and the Spartans. The Huskies finished the game with just seven total shots on goal, while Michigan State had a mere four. NIU also held an 8-4 advantage in penalty corners.

The chances were there Saturday against Michigan but again the goals weren’t falling. The Huskies outshot the Wolverines 18-5 and had a 5-3 advantage in penalty corners.

NIU opened the scoring in the first three minutes of the match. Sophomore Kristen Felter notched her fifth goal of the year with 32:14 remaining.

Wolverine junior Katie Thomas got Michigan on the board with 23:15 to go in the opening period. It remained 1-1 at the half even though the Huskies held a 7-2 advantage in shots.

Michigan, with only three total shots, scored twice in the second half to clinch the victory. Keely Libby’s goal off a penalty corner with 16:17 remaining broke a 1-1 tie. Five minutes later, Katie Thomas added her second goal for insurance.

Junior defensive back Kristina Hahn made it 3-2 with 9:30 to go on assists from Felter and freshman Jen Wilds.

Hahn finished the season with a team-high 11 goals, notched three assists, 25 total points, six defensive saves and 63 total shots on goal. Felter finished with five assists for 15 total points, and Wilds led the Huskies with eight assists.

In eight starts, freshman Amy Boomershine earned five wins in her stint as goalkeeper after starting the year as a defensive back. She made 28 saves and allowed only 13 goals for a .683 save percentage and recorded four shutouts (two against Michigan State).

“We’ll be an independent, but the other five schools have agreed to play us next year,” Bell said about the conference coming to an end.