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Northwestern Field Hockey Defeats Harvard 2-1 in OT, Advances to Program's First National Title Game

Northwestern field hockey will play its first ever national title game this weekend.

Northwestern defeated Harvard 2-1 in an overtime nail-biter in Ann Arbor Friday afternoon. Led by head coach Tracey Fuchs, the Wildcats put together an impressive game from start to finish, outshooting the Harvard Crimson 10-3, putting eight shots on goal. Northwestern also secured four penalty corners compared to Harvard's two.

Northwestern got on the board during its first penalty corner of the day, less than 10 minutes into the first quarter. Senior midfielder Maren Seidel found the back of the net from the top of the circle, assisted by senior midfielder Kayla Blas and graduate forward Clara Roth. 

Harvard responded less than a minute later with a goal by senior back Hannah Pearce, assisted by first-year midfielder Emily Guckian and sophomore defender Mazarine Broze.

The remaining three quarters were an all-out battle between the Wildcats and Harvard Crimson. Neither team found the back of the net, sending the match to overtime. 

Northwestern entered Friday 0-3 in overtime contests, while Harvard carried an impressive 5-1 overtime record. Just over two minutes into the first overtime period, Northwestern standout redshirt junior forward Bente Baekers clinched her 18th goal of the season on a penalty corner inserted by Roth.

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Northwestern will advance to play No. 9 Liberty in the national championship Sunday at 1 p.m. CST in Ann Arbor, Mich. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.

The Wildcats defeated the Flames 4-3 on the road in early September, a game in which Northwestern outshot Liberty 22 (14 on goal)-10 (6 on goal).

A Northwestern victory on Sunday would mark the program's first ever and the school's first team sport national title since 2012.

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