Field hockey squad returns to Midwest

By Todd McMahon

Now that the NIU field hockey team has completed its East Coast “tour of duty,” it is time for the Huskies to reacquaint themselves with the Midwest.

The Huskies travel to Oxford, Ohio, Friday to face the Redskins of Miami and Muncie, Ind., Saturday, to take on Ball State.

“This will be an interesting weekend,” NIU head coach Laurie Bell said. “It definitely won’t be as intense as last weekend.”

The 10-0 and 7-0 losses to Old Dominion and Penn State last weekend proved to be a learning experience for the young Huskies.

“We learned a lot from those two games,” Bell said.”We were able to work on some of the skills, such as passing and stick control.”

Overall, Bell was pleased with the effort that was out there against the two nationally-ranked teams. “It’s a transitional period for us right now,” the sixth-year coach said. “We’re so young that we pick up on things a little bit here and a little bit there.”

Bell said Ball State will give her team the most trouble this weekend. “They are a scrappy, hard-nosed team,” she said.

“If we can get the win over Miami, I think it will definitely carry over to Saturday’s game,” she said.

One player whom Bell is counting on is junior midfielder/defensive back Kristina Hahn. “She played the best game of her career against Penn State,” Bell said. “She has been the inspiration to this team.”

Monday is the much-anticipated home opener as the Huskies face off with the Billikens of Saint Louis (noon) at Huskie Stadium.