After Northwestern field hockey beat Rutgers to clinch a share of the Big Ten conference title, head coach Tracey Fuchs said this, “‘Cats don’t like to share.”
Then the Wildcats went out and beat No. 7 Maryland, 5-1, at Lakeside Field to close out the regular season as outright conference champions.
The Wildcats (16-1, 8-0 Big Ten) now look to remain dominant in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament Nov. 2-5 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
As the top seed, Northwestern skips a round and goes straight to the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. ET/12 p.m. CT, to play the winner of the Penn State - Ohio State game. B1G+ will stream the quarterfinal matches; the Big Ten Network will carry the semifinals and championship match.
Fuchs’ words carry weight, and she knows her team is hungry. She also knows what success feels like at Northwestern. She is the winningest coach in program history. Since taking over the team in 2009, Fuchs led the Wildcats to a national championship in 2021, two Big Ten titles and six NCAA Tournament appearances. Yet, she says this is the most rewarding season in her career thanks to the graduate students and seniors on the team.
“They are probably some of the best leaders I’ve ever had in my tenure here,” Fuchs said. “They come out, they work hard, they make changes — and when your student-athletes do that, you have a chance to win every game.”
Graduate student midfielder and former women’s national team member Alia Marshall shared the team’s motto for the year: “W.I.N. What’s Important Now.”
“We really like to focus on the practice in front of us, the drill in front of us and the game in front of us,” Marshall said. “Taking it one step at a time.”