Sept. 3, 2012
BERKELEY, Calif. -
Chelsea Armstrong scored the game-winning goal with less than five minutes remaining on Monday as No. 20 Northwestern used a final rally to turn back upset-minded UC Davis in a nonconference women's field hockey game played at Cal.
The loss snapped the Aggies' three-game winning streak to open the season, moving their record to 3-1. The Wildcats, who also beat No. 11 Stanford, No. 16 Cal and Pacific during their west coast roadtrip, improved to 4-1.
Cloey LemMon, named the NorPac West Division Offensive Player of the Week on Monday, tallied a goal and an assist while Emily Mecke also had a goal. LemMon's score broke a scoreless tie in the 24th minute while Mecke's tied the game in the 64th. Goalkeeper Conley Craven made seven saves.
The Wildcats scored their final two goals after UC Davis pulled Craven in favor of an extra field player.
"Today's game was a season-changer for us," said Aggie coach Vianney Campos. "We needed to test our growth and see if we could compete with top teams and not only were we able to compete but we kept them on their toes often and were able to take the lead."
UC Davis outshot the Wildcats 6-1 in the first 23 minutes, 14 seconds but Northwestern was able to keep the Aggies off the scoreboard. That changed in the 24th minute, however, when LemMon took a breakaway and beat Northwestern keeper Maddy Carpenter to the left side for her team-leading fifth goal of the season. The Wildcats were able to tie the game six minutes later when Tara Puffenberger tipped in a ball.
The game remained deadlocked well into the second half despite Northwestern exerting offensive pressure that saw it take 16 of the contest's 17 shots over the first 17 minutes. Craven came up big during the span, however, making all seven of her saves. Carolin Troncelliti was able to finally break through in the 63rd minute, tipping in a shot off a penalty corner to make it 2-1.
UC Davis, though, didn't back down from the ranked Wildcats, coming right back just 72 seconds later to tie it when LemMon dished to Mecke who scored her second goal of the year. Armstrong then delivered her go-ahead goal off an assist by Troncelliti less than two minutes later.
The Aggies pulled Craven for the final minutes in an effort to tie the game and Northwestern was able to score a pair of late goals by Puffenberger and Armstrong - including one off a penalty corner with no time remaining - to seal the hard-fought win.
"The score doesn't reflect the type of game that was played today as we pulled the keeper after dropping behind 3-2 in effort to compete for the win," Campos said. "Taking that risk means exposing an opportunity for the other team to score easily but frankly we were good enough to win and very close to doing so.
"The growth we have shown in these last four games is remarkable and the team is playing some incredible field hockey," she added.
The Aggies will play the second of three straight ranked opponents on Wednesday when they return to Berkeley to face No. 24 Drexel. They'll finish the string of tough competition on Monday at Stanford when they battle No. 10 Iowa.