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Three second-half goals beat Falcons

When an avalanche starts to fall, it begins to pick up speed as it rushes down a mountain. Before you know it, the tumbling snow is too much to overcome.

The Northwestern field hockey team put on its own rendition of an avalanche over the weekend against Salisbury.

After not scoring in the opening 30 minutes, one early second-half goal resulted in a snowball effect for the Lady Tigers’ scoring the rest of the morning. Northwestern (2-3-1) scored three in the span of 10:17 to shut out Salisbury 3-0 on Saturday morning.

“Every win we get helps add to our team’s record along with our confidence,” Jordan Nielsen said. “The more wins our team gets under our belt, the better we play as a family because we know we can trust each other like we did in previous games.”

Northwestern’s Courtney Page was responsible for getting the scoring started. She redirected a Lady Tiger shot in front of the cage past Salisbury goalie Peyton Stauffer.

It turns out that tally is all Northwestern would need. Its defense would take care of the rest in helping goal keeper Taylor Page pitch a shutout.

“We have a strong defense that is very hard to get through,” Nielsen said. “Our goal is spectacular and nearly impossible to get around. We wouldn’t trade our goalie or defense for anything.”

The defense may have shined the brightest, but the offense certainly did its part as well. Minutes after the first goal broke the scoreless contest, Nielsen padded the Lady Tigers’ lead with a nifty shot on goal. After an initial Northwestern chance was saved by Stauffer, Nielsen cleaned up the loose ball in front of the Lady Falcons’ stopper.

“Courtney Page had given a perfect pass to stroke, [and] I noticed the goalie had left a gap between her legs,” Nielsen said. “So I took the quickest shot I could without risking getting the ball taken away. And I noticed earlier the ball went right through the goalie’s legs and into goal.”

Not even three minutes later, Courtney Page scored one of her own with a rip to the left side of the cage.

While wins have been tough to come by this season, Northwestern is hoping that win against Salisbury (1-7) propels them to a much better second half of the season. Couple that with a 1-0 hard fought game against Southern Lehigh (one of the top teams in the league), and it looks as if the Lady Tigers are on their way.

“Our team finds an insane amount of motivation and determination when we play the tougher teams in the league,” Nielsen said. “Even if we don’t win those games like the Southern Lehigh game, we still try to use that game as an example throughout the season on how we want to play.

“After today, I believe our team will have the confidence and strength to get many more wins throughout the season.”

PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZNorthwestern's Grace Horn (left) tries to poke the ball away from a Salisbury player during Saturday's 3-0 win over the Falcons.