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    Moment No. 15: Swimming Records Fall

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    The 2012-13 academic year was a memorable one for Northwestern. Over the next several weeks, we will celebrate the conference championships, noteworthy wins and significant milestones that the Wildcats accumulated during the past year. Be sure to follow along at NUsports.com as we revisit our top 20 moments!

    Moment No. 15
    Date Feb. 21, 2013 and March 30, 2013
    Locations Minneapolis, Minn. | Indianapolis, Ind.
    Reynolds Recap Reynolds Shatters NU 50 Free Mark, Qualifies Second Overall For Finals
    Wilimovsky Recap Wilimovsky Breaks School Record Again at NCAA Meet
    Social Media @NUSwim   |  @NUSwimDive
    Top 20 Countdown Northwestern's Top 20 Moments of 2012-13 Countdown

    Two long-standing individual Northwestern school records fell in 2013, one each on the men's and women's side, and together they form our No. 15 moment of 2012-13 for Northwestern Athletics.

    First, senior women's sprinter Taylor Reynolds exploded for a 22.14 in the 50 freestyle during the preliminary heats of the 2013 Big Ten Championships to lower the previous Northwestern mark of 22.26 set by All-American Andrea Hupman in 2008. Reynolds would be seeded second overall for the finals of the event behind eventual champion Ivy Martin of Wisconsin.

    The 22.14 time for Reynolds qualified her for the 2013 NCAA Championships field and was part of a strong Big Ten Championships that also saw her pick up an All-Big Ten honor with a second-place result in the 100 freestyle.

    On the men's side, freshman Jordan Wilimovsky entered the NCAA Championships having already broken the school's record in the mile during the Big Ten Championships. His 15:03.07 at the conference meet punched his ticket to the NCAA field and took down a school mark that had not been touched in nearly a decade.

    Wilimovsky then went out and lowered it again on the final day of the NCAA meet, becoming the first Wildcat in program history to swim a sub 15:00.00 mile when he touched the wall in 14:58.80. "Jordan had a great swim today," head coach Jarod Schroeder said at the time. "Last year it only took 15:00.00 to score at the meet so we were hoping it would have been enough. His effort was still a great step forward."

    Wilimovsky went on to qualify for the United State National Team for the 2013 FINA World Championships in the 25K open water event with fourth-place finishes in both the 5K and 10K swims at the USA Swimming national championships meet.

    Moment No. 16: Roser Beats the Buzzer at Iowa

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    The 2012-13 season was a memorable one for Northwestern. Over the next few weeks, we will celebrate the conference championships, noteworthy wins and significant milestones the Wildcats accumulated during the past year. Be sure to follow along at NUSports.com as we revisit the top 20 moments.

    Moment No. 16
    Date Feb. 3, 2013
    Location Carver-Hawkeye Arena | Iowa City, Iowa
    Original Story Roser Beats Buzzer in NU's 67-65 Win Over No. 24/25 Iowa
    Video Video Highlights
    Social Media @nuwbball   |  Northwestern Women's Basketball
    Top 20 Countdown Northwestern's Top 20 Moments of 2012-13 Countdown

    Every second counted in Northwestern's game against the nationally-ranked Hawkeyes in Iowa City on Feb. 3, 2013. Despite trailing by as many as 15 points in the second half, NU stormed back and led by two at 65-63 with less than a minute to play.

    Roser Beats the Buzzer at Iowa

    Iowa then made things interesting as Melissa Dixon's jumper knotted things up at 65-65 with just three seconds showing but the Wildcats were determined to end the game in regulation. With the clock winding down, NU sophomore point guard Karly Roser used her speed and vision to go coast-to-coast and sink her game-winning layup as the horn sounded to give Northwestern the 67-65 win and the program's first victory in Iowa City since 1995.

    "It was a great college basketball game," Northwestern head coach Joe McKeown said. "We were fortunate enough to make one more play at the end. ... It's good for us to keep our poise, being down, and be able to come back and just be able to make some plays at the end. ... I think Karly Roser played with a lot of poise in the second half. In the second half I think she had complete control of our team."

    At the end of the 2012-13 season, Roser was one of four Wildcats, along with seniors Kendall Hackney and Dannielle Diamant and freshman Maggie Lyon, honored with All-Big Ten accolades. Lyon had a stellar first season at Northwestern as she became the first Wildcat to earn Big Ten Freshman of the Year accolades.

    The 2012-13 academic year was a memorable one for Northwestern. Over the next several weeks, we will celebrate the conference championships, noteworthy wins and significant milestones that the Wildcats accumulated during the past year. Be sure to follow along at NUsports.com as we revisit our top 20 moments!

    Moment No. 17
    Date March 29, 2013
    Location Sharon J. Drysdale Field | Evanston, Ill.
    Original Story Amy Letourneau No-Hits Minnesota in NU Home Opener
    Video Video Highlights
    Social Media @NUSBCats   |  Northwestern Softball
    Top 20 Countdown Northwestern's Top 20 Moments of 2012-13 Countdown

    Northwestern sophomore ace Amy Letourneau harnessed the nasty stuff she had been dealing all season long in Northwestern's 2013 home opener March 29 against Minnesota, throwing the 45th no-hitter in Wildcats' history in a 6-2 win over the Gophers -- the first no-no of her career and the first of two she would throw in the space of one week.

    Watch Game Highlights

    Letourneau at times struggled to control her filthy repertoire, allowing 11 total base runners in the game on nine walks and two hit batsmen. She did allow two runs (only one earned) in the third inning, but recovered to hold Minnesota at bay the remainder of the game while racking up 11 strikeouts for her ninth double-digit K game of the season.

    The no-no was the first of Letourneau's career and the 45th in school history. It was the first since current junior Sammy Albanese no-hit Saint Mary's (Calif.) on March 22, 2011, in a five-inning contest and it was NU's first full seven-inning no-hitter since Lauren Delaney performed the feat against Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 12, 2010.

    Northwestern took the early lead in the game courtesy of second-inning RBI singles from Olivia Duehr and Kristin Scharkey. Minnesota would tie the contest in the third before NU did the rest of the scoring with three runs in the third and another in the fourth to cement the victory.

    Just one week later in the Friday opening game of a home series against Illinois, Letourneau again threw a no-hitter, this time fanning eight and walking the same in an 8-0 (5) victory. Letourneau is the ninth pitcher in Northwestern history to toss multiple no-hitters in her career.

    The 2012-13 academic year was a memorable one for Northwestern. Over the next several weeks, we will celebrate the conference championships, noteworthy wins and significant milestones that the Wildcats accumulated during the past year. Be sure to follow along at NUsports.com as we revisit the top 20 moments.

    Moment No. 18
    Date Nov. 16, 2012
    Location Welsh-Ryan Arena | Evanston, Ill.
    Original Story Relentless Wildcats Topple Michigan in Thrilling Fashion, 3-1
    Video Michigan Match Highlights
    More Video Stephanie Holthus Highlights
    Social Media @NUVBall   |  Northwestern Volleyball
    Top 20 Countdown Northwestern's Top 20 Moments of 2012-13 Countdown

    In need of a win to snap a four-match skid and keep its NCAA Tournament hopes alive, Northwestern hosted the Michigan Wolverines, a team receiving votes in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll, at Welsh-Ryan Arena on Friday, Nov. 16. The Wildcats rose to the challenge and responded by turning back U-M, which came to town with its own five-match winning streak, in thrilling fashion.

    The 'Cats fell behind, 18-12, in the first set before ripping off a 9-3 rally to knot the score at 21 points apiece. The Wolverines eventually captured that first frame, 25-22, but that was the last time they would be victorious on this special evening. Northwestern stormed back to claim a pair of two-point wins in both the second and third sets before putting Michigan down for good with an emphatic 25-18 triumph in the fourth.

    Stephanie Holthus turned in not only the best individual performance of the season, but arguably the top effort of her storied career to this point. The Burlington, Ill., native buried a career-high 28 kills and added 19 digs, four blocks and a pair of assists. She tallied 32 points in the four-set triumph and attacked at a clip of .404 during the match. Holthus was named Co-Big Ten Player of the Week on Nov. 19 in recognition of her superior effort.

    Yewande Akanbi was also in double figures offensively for Northwestern with 12 kills. Middle blockers Savannah Paffen and Katie Dutchman sent back a match-high six blocks apiece, while setter Madalyn Shalter added 46 assists and 17 digs in victory. Northwestern's back row received outstanding efforts from Julie Chin, Abbie Kraus and Monica McGreal who tallied 17, 11 and eight digs, respectively.

    Northwestern fell just short of its goal of reaching the NCAA Tournament. After dropping another 3-1 decision the following evening at Illinois, Michigan reeled off six wins in a row as they made their way to the national semifinals in Louisville where they lost to Texas in five. The Longhorns would then go on to defeat Oregon to win the 2012 national championship.

    Michigan Match Highlights

    Holthus' powerful performance against the Wolverines was one of many outstanding performances that she turned in for the Wildcats during her third season in Evanston. The outside hitter was named All-Big Ten and All-Mideast Region by the aforementioned AVCA. On Dec. 12, Holthus was named to the All-America Team. She recorded 487 kills in 2012, which tied her for fifth all-time in a single season at NU. Holthus notched at least 20 kills 10 times and currently ranks 10th on the school's all-time list with 1,294 terminations. She is the fourth student-athlete in program history to receive All-America recognition.

    "[Holthus] is a great example of what it means to be a student-athlete at Northwestern," said NU head coach Keylor Chan. "She has put a great deal of time and effort to improve her volleyball every year and is consistently committed to success."

    The 2012-13 academic year was a memorable one for Northwestern. Over the next few weeks, we will celebrate the conference championships, noteworthy wins and significant milestones the Wildcats accumulated during the past year. Be sure to follow along at NUSports.com as we re-isit the top 20 moments.

    Moment No. 19
    Date March 6, 2013
    Location Lakeside Field | Evanston, Ill.
    Original Story NU Upends Boston College, Amonte Hiller Hits 200 Wins
    Social Media @NULax   |  Northwestern Women's Lacrosse
    Top 20 Countdown Northwestern's Top 20 Moments of 2012-13
    Previous Moments Moment No. 20

    For the second straight day to open Northwestern's countdown of the Top 20 Moments of the 2012-13 athletic year, the Wildcats are celebrating a milestone reached by one of its 19 head coaches -- and one that came in some pretty unusual circumstances.

    Watch Game Highlights
    As the two-time defending NCAA champion Northwestern women's lacrosse team prepared to open its 2013 home season, one of the fiercest snowstorms of the winter bore down on Evanston and dumped more than seven inches of snow on Lakeside Field, just 24 hours before the Wildcats were to take the field against Boston College. But thanks to a round-the-clock snow-clearing effort by the Northwestern facilities staff, the game went on as scheduled and ended in a 17-10 Wildcats win that represented the 200th victory in the legendary coaching career of Kelly Amonte Hiller.

    After the game, Amonte Hiller was asked if it was fitting that her milestone win came with a four-foot high pile of snow ringing Lakeside Field, with temperatures that had fallen below freezing shortly after opening draw.

    "That's why I love this place," Amonte Hiller said with a smile. "You have to be tough to play here. You have to be strong, mentally and physically."

    The five-time national coach of the year and seven-time NCAA champion coach needed only 231 games to reach the 200-career victory plateau, and by season's end had run her career record to 215-33 for a winning percentage of .867 -- best among active coaches and second all-time in Division I women's lacrosse.

    The 2012-13 academic year was a memorable one for Northwestern. Over the next few weeks, we will celebrate the conference championships, noteworthy wins and significant milestones the Wildcats accumulated during the past year. Today, we begin with Moment No. 20, which features the Northwestern women's soccer team. Be sure to follow along at NUSports.com as we re-visit the top 20 moments.

    Moment No. 20
    Date Oct. 27, 2012
    Location DeMartin Soccer Complex | East Lansing, Mich.
    Original Story NU Blanks MSU in 2012 Finale, Moynihan Secures 200th Career Win
    Social Media @CatsWSoccer   |  Northwestern Women's Soccer
    Top 20 Countdown Northwestern's Top 20 Moments of 2012-13 Countdown

    Northwestern head women's soccer coach Michael Moynihan ended his first season with the Wildcats with a significant milestone. All it took was one goal, but Niki Sebo's score in the 19th minute during the 2012 season finale at Michigan State gave head coach Michael Moynihan his 200th career victory. The MSU victory also was a milestone for assistant coach David Nikolic, who has coached alongside Moynihan for 16 seasons.

    "It was a great win to end the season," Moynihan said following the Michigan State victory. "We ended the season with all of our seniors on the field and I thought it was a nice tribute to them and the leadership that they've shown and the progress that we've made this season; it all just kind of came together. I feel like we've come a long way and it's nice to get this little three game winning streak in the Big Ten to show something for our efforts. I thought getting another shutout on the road was fantastic. Our defense really stepped up as the season went on and got on the same page and we became more cohesive as a group. (Goalkeeper) Anna (Cassell) had a couple of really strong games here down the stretch. There are a lot of things to build on and again it was a great way to end the season and build towards the future."

    The Wildcats saw significant improvement during the 2012 campaign and ended the season with three-straight Big Ten victories, including a down-to-the-wire 2-1 win at Illinois, a 1-0 shutout against Iowa on Senior Day and the shutout victory against the Spartans. Moynihan and his staff guided the 'Cats to a five-win improvement from the 2011 season while facing a tough schedule that included eight games against squads that qualified for the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

    A Dodgeball Tournament Giving Hope (and Fun!)

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    By Katie Landgrebe - Northwestern Women's Soccer

    Katie Landgrebe is a sophomore on the Northwestern women's soccer team and the journalism major will give fans an inside look into the program with her blogs. The Northwestern women's soccer team is constantly giving back to the community and Katie's second entry details a great service event put on by the seniors from the 2012 women's soccer team.

    PHOTOS: 2013 Charity Dodgeball Tournament

     
    Colorful outfits, the sound of competition-crazed players, and balls whizzing through the air could only mean one thing: a dodgeball tournament, and more importantly, one put on by the women's soccer team. On a hot May day, more than 100 people packed into Patten Gym to participate in a tournament organized, run and inspired by our senior class. I can't begin to say how much Jess Rubin, Meredith Finsand and Bri Westlund have meant to me as teammates in the past two years, but in the past few weeks I've seen another, even better side of them. 
     
    They built this tournament from the ground up, and put a great cause at the center of it. The Lurie Children's Hospital is a place near and dear to NU women's soccer because of the incredible care they have given to our friend Hallie Munro, so it was only natural that the proceeds of this tournament would benefit their organization. With each team paying an entrance fee and many local businesses donating food for players, our seniors, and team, were able to raise $3,000 for a place that we know does good work for children with unimaginable circumstances; and all while having a great time!
     
    Observing the three dodgeball courts that lined Patten Gym was truly a sight to see, and many of us stuck around to watch and enjoy the fun atmosphere long after our refereeing shifts ended. Teams, many of which consisted of other NU student-athletes, sprinted to lines, performed trick plays and generally made the most of the chance to participate in a game outside of our normal practice schedules. Working alongside the seniors that had made all of this happen was an honor, and I couldn't help but smile at the thought of that money going to a place where daily, kids can have hope of a second chance because of the world-class care they receive.
     
    Something else that stuck with me was from an email Coach Moynihan sent to our team after some of us volunteered at Nettelhorst Elementary playing soccer and telling students about our experience as NU student-athletes. He pointed out that we were showing kids another avenue, one where you can excel at a sport and also love to do creative writing or use a talent you have to achieve something else, like being the first in your family to attend college. In a way, we were doing the same with the dodgeball tournament. Showing outsiders and ourselves that college athletes aren't just performers on the field and in the classroom, but also conscientious members of the community. In a packed gym filled with the sounds of our friends simply having a good time, our team, with the help of our senior class, learned that fun and service can collide in incredible ways.
     
    Coach Neely captured some great moments from the dodgeball tournament so make sure you check out the photo gallery. A big thanks to everyone who participated and helped to make the day memorable!