Field hockey breaks from MAC play, takes on Big Ten this weekend
The field hockey team has a daunting weekend coming up in Evanston, Ill.
Central Michigan, taking a break from the tight conference race, plays Indiana Saturday and No. 11 Northwestern Sunday.
“It’s challenging,” head coach Cristy Freese said. “They’re both very good teams, but it is going to help us be a better team and hopefully help us as we finish the (Mid-American Conference) season.”
The Wildcats’ offense is ranked sixth in the country in goals per game (4.07), led by senior Chelsea Armstrong.
She has 20 goals this season – six less than the number of goals the Chippewas as a team have accumulated.
“You can’t let her get the ball because she’s got a quick shot, and she’s not afraid to shoot,” Freese said.
Northwestern junior Tara Puffenberger trails her teammate with 13 goals and eight assists.
“Tracey Fuchs is an excellent coach,” Freese said. “Her players play hard. They play like Tracey did.
“She was a former U.S. player and an Olympic player, so she’s doing a nice job, and that’s certainly what I expected out of Northwestern.”
The Hoosiers are more of a mystery.
They beat Miami (Ohio), who is tied for first in the Mid-American Conference, 1-0 Sunday.
But they lost to their in-state rival Ball State, a team that is last in the MAC, 3-2 on Sept. 30.
Senior Morgan Fleetwood is the leading scorer for the Hoosiers, tallying eight goals and assisting on four.
Sophomore Mary Alice Moore could provide scoring for the Chippewas this weekend. She scored two goals during the three–game winning–streak by CMU.
It looks unnatural for Moore to be near the top of the stat sheet. The top–three scorers have 12, 11 and 12 starts, respectively, while she has five starts and is the fourth–leading scorer. She also has three assists.
“I’m pretty happy. I think I’m starting to work myself into the lineup now,” Moore said “That’s always great. I’m just happy our team is doing so well.”
Freese said Moore reminds her of Detroit Red Wings player Tomas Holmstrom, standing right in front of the net, disrupting the defense and being unafraid of contact.
New York is a recruiting pipeline that Freese has succeeded in attracting players from. Moore is one of eight CMU players from the state.
“New York has very good field hockey,” Freese said. “She’s from Long Island, and they have very, very good field hockey. Also, typically, they are blue-collar workers out there, and that’s kind of the kid Mary is.”
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