No. 10 Northwestern (8-5, 3-1 B1G) continued its strong start to the B1G field hockey season with a 2-0 win at Michigan State (4-9, 0-5) on Sunday afternoon.
The ‘Cats dominated the match from start to finish, ending with an 18-3 shot advantage, and an 11-0 advantage in penalty corners. The Spartans never seriously threatened Northwestern’s lead, even though it took 43 minutes for the Wildcats to break Michigan State’s defense.
Junior Kirsten Mansfield broke the deadlock by scoring off a deflection after the ‘Cats won a penalty corner. Leading scorer Puck Pentenga took the initial shot, which hit Mansfield’s stick before entering the back of the net.
Pentenga continued her impressive senior season by contributing another goal, her eighth of this campaign, off of another penalty corner. Her shot, assisted by Eva van Agt and Mansfield, made it through a small scrum near the goal before getting past the keeper for an insurmountable 2-0 lead.
The Wildcats defense set the tone for their stellar performance by not allowing a shot on goal; junior Annie Kalfas and the defense held Michigan State to a season low of three shots allowed. The shutout is the team’s third in their last four games, and Sunday was the first time they did not allow an opponent to get a shot on goal.
Northwestern’s next game is on Friday, Oct. 5 at home against Ohio State.