Huskies travel to Wildcat land

By Todd McMahon

With much of the focus centering on Homecoming this weekend, the NIU field hockey team plans on spending some time away from DeKalb the next two days.

The Huskies travel to Evanston for two more Midwest Collegiate Field Hockey Conference games. NIU faces host Northwestern University Friday in a rematch from just two weeks ago. NIU remains in Wildcat land Saturday to do battle with the Buckeyes of Ohio State University.

The Huskies (1-6-1, 0-2-1) will try to do one better the second time around against Northwestern. After trailing 2-0 Sept. 27 at Huskie Stadium, the Wildcats stormed back late in the game to salvage a 2-2 tie.

“We were very fortunate to get that tie,” NIU head coach Laurie Bell said.

Freshman Danielle Derr and junior Kristina Hahn provided the offense for the Huskies in the previous meeting with a goal each. But freshman goalkeeper Gretchen Splinter preserved the tie with 16 saves against the nationally-ranked Wildcats (7-2-1, 2-1-1).

Ohio State comes into action Saturday with conference momentum. “They are coming off a big win over (Top-20) Michigan,” Bell said. The same Michigan team that dealt the Huskies a 3-1 defeat on Sept. 29.

The Buckeyes (6-4, 2-1) are led by junior Danielle Dayton, who led the team in scoring last year, and senior midfielder Kim Bush.

Bell hopes her offense will come out of hibernation this weekend to give the Huskies a shot at a couple of victories. “We’ve really been lacking in concentration the past couple games,” she said.

Conference play is always tough, no matter who you play. But hopefully, the effort we gave against Northwestern last time will show up again.”