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Northwestern field hockey wins first-ever NCAA championship


For the first time ever, Northwestern field hockey are national champions.

The No. 7-ranked Wildcats took down No. 9 Liberty in the NCAA tournament championship game on Sunday 2-0, securing the program’s first national title.

It’s the ninth team title in school history and the school’s first NCAA national championship since 2012.

The first half was a battle between the pipes as the two teams went into halftime locked at 0-0 despite 11 total penalty corners and nine shots on goal.

A Bente Baekers penalty stroke with 11 minutes to play in the second quarter was denied as Liberty goaltender Azul Iritxity made a diving toe save to keep it locked at zero.

Both teams came out fighting in the second half, but Northwestern would prove too much to handle for the Flames.

With nine minutes to play in the third, the Wildcats finally capitalized on its seventh penalty corner with Alia Marshall sending one home off of a deflection to make it 1-0.

Then, right before the end of the third, Maddie Zimmer took one inside the circle, where she sent one home to make it 2-0 and secure the win.

For head coach Tracey Fuchs, it’s her third national title of her career and her first as a head coach.

Northwestern’s road to the national title was battle-tested, as the Wildcats took down three-time defending champion UNC in the first round before going on to take down No. 2 Iowa in the final four. They then took down No. 12 Harvard to reach the championship game, finishing the season at 18-5.