EVANSTON, Ill. – Northwestern’s all-time leading scorer Chelsea Armstrong capped her hat trick just 12 seconds into overtime as the 10th-ranked Wildcats rallied from two goals down to defeat No. 6 Penn State 5-4 on Friday.
“I think when they went up 3-1 we just relaxed and we got back to our structure and our gameplan,” Northwestern head coach Tracey Fuchs said. “I have to give credit to our team for coming back against Penn State. I couldn’t be more proud of our entire team today.”
The Nittany Lions tallied the first goal when Lauren Purvis found Laura Gebhart for her fifth goal of the season to give the guests the lead at the 7:27 mark.
NU answered a couple of minutes later as freshman Charlotte Martin fired a shot past goalkeeper Ayla Halus to tie the game at one. The score was Martin’s second goal of the season.
Penn State was awarded a penalty corner with no time left on the clock and Ashtin Klingler converted to put the Nittany Lions ahead 2-1 at the break.
Early in the second half, Brittany Grzywacz converted off another penalty corner to put PSU in front by a pair. However, Northwestern got a goal back at 53:15. The ‘Cats earned a penalty corner and Tara Puffenberger eluded a defender and fired a shot to the far post where Lisa McCarthy tapped it home to get the Wildcats within one goal.
The matchup featured the top two scorers in the Big Ten, Armstrong and Penn State’s Kelsey Amy. NU was able to keep Amy off the scoreboard and Armstrong was fairly quiet until the latter stages of the game when she stepped up.
Another penalty corner for the Wildcats resulted in Armstrong firing a shot by Halus to tie the match with 13 minutes remaining. McCarthy and Julia Retzky were credited with assists on the play.
Penalty corners were the key to the match. Hannah Allison notched her sixth goal of the year off a corner just 65 seconds after NU had tied the score.
With under seven minutes left, the Wildcats converted off a penalty corner for the third time and again it was McCarthy, Retzky and Armstrong teaming up. Armstrong’s second score of the match at 63:27 tied the score again.
|NORTHWESTERN VS. PENN STATE|
Goalkeeper Amanda Wirth, who got the start in goal following an injury to Maddy Carpenter, came up huge in the final minute of regulation to help force overtime. A Penn State penalty corner resulted in a look at an open goal for Amy, but Wirth made a diving save to keep the match tied.
“That was amazing,” Fuchs said. “I think she has maybe played two halves the whole season. I’ve always said that we have two starting goalkeepers and for her to find out a minute before the game and go in against a top-ranked opponent and make some save that she did, I’m proud that she had the opportunity to show her teammates how good she is.”
It took Northwestern just seconds to post the game-winner in the extra session. In the 7-on-7 situation, Puffenberger took advantage of the open space and possessed the ball before feeding it across to Armstrong who knocked it past Halus to give the Wildcats their first overtime win of the season. The hat trick increased Armstrong’s goal total to 19 this season.
“That’s Chelsea,” Fuchs said. “They’re going to put their best defender on her, like we did on Kelsey Amy. She’s nursing a little bit of a leg injury, but when the game is on the line, you don’t look much further than Chelsea. I’m glad she had a great second half [Friday].”
Wirth made six saves in goal to earn the win and improve to 3-0 on the season.