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    The 2012-13 academic year was a memorable one for Northwestern. Over the past several weeks, we have celebrated 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 unveil the top moment of the year tomorrow!

    Moment No. 2
    Date April 20, 2013
    Location Wrigley Field | Chicago, Ill.
    Original Story Wildcats Win Big at Wrigley Field
    Video Partnership Announcement
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    Social Media @NUCatsBaseball   |  Northwestern Baseball
    Top 20 Countdown Northwestern's Top 20 Moments of 2012-13 Countdown

    On a chilly February morning in the Windy City, Northwestern Athletics and the Chicago Cubs announced an innovative, multi-year event and reciprocal marketing partnership that will showcase a wide range of Wildcats athletic programs at historic Wrigley Field over the next several years. The Friendly Confines will play host to Northwestern in a myriad of sports including soccer, lacrosse and football. The most logical event to begin with, of course, was a baseball game to be held in the spring.

    April 20 was a cool, but calm day in Chicagoland as NU head coach Paul Stevens brought his Wildcats 10 miles south to take on the Michigan Wolverines at Wrigley Field. The ballpark was buzzing with students, alums, families and friends ready to settle in for an exciting evening of Big Ten baseball. What ensued that evening was a 6-0 triumph for Northwestern and, more importantly, an unforgettable night at the ballpark for not only the players and coaches on the field, but also for the nearly 4,200 fans in attendance.

    Behind the scenes at Wrigley Field

    Senior Luke Farrell got the nod on the mound and the 6-foot-6-inch right-hander more than rose to the occasion for the 'Cats. Michigan entered the weekend in first place in the Big Ten and Farrell turned them back with authority behind a complete-game shutout in which he struck out nine and surrendered just three hits. He retired the first 12 hitters he faced in order and did not issue a base-on-balls the entire night.

    Playing under the lights, Farrell's teammates provided plenty of offensive support in the six-run victory. Second baseman Zach Morton delivered RBI doubles in his first two-at bats and scored two runs of his own against U-M. Farrell's batterymate, Jake Straub, had a pair of hits and an RBI for the Wildcats.

    Moment No. 3: Women's Golf Captures First B1G Title

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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 re-visit the top 20 moments.

    Moment No. 3
    Date April 28, 2013
    Location The Donald Ross Course | French Lick, Ind.
    Original Story Wildcats Capture First Big Ten Title in Program History
    Social Media @PatGossNUgolf   |  Northwestern Women's Golf
    Top 20 Countdown Northwestern's Top 20 Moments of 2012-13 Countdown

    The 2012-13 season was a historic one for the Northwestern women's golf team as the program won its first Big Ten title. The Wildcats claimed a share of the conference crown, carding a new tournament record for 54-holes of 20-over 884 to tie for first with Purdue.

    NU's title also was the first team tournament win for head coach Emily Fletcher, who was tabbed the 2013 Big Ten Coach of the Year, and assistant coach Beth Miller during their tenures with the Wildcats and first for the program since 2007.

    "These girls, they played so hard," Fletcher said after winning the Big Ten title. "It wasn't easy. It was tough out there today. We made the turn and we were kind of hanging in there and had a few hiccups but they just fought so hard coming down to the end. As we told them last night, both Pat (Goss) and I said, 'This is what we've looked forward to, to have an opportunity like this.' To have the lead after round one and round two and going into round three, and to have never done it before, it was a little bit more than how we might have thought it would have been scripted for our first Big Ten Championship but it couldn't be any sweeter, that's for sure."

    It was a complete team effort as all six Wildcats competing at the 2013 Big Ten Championships finished in the top 25 with three in the top 10. Playing in her first conference tournament, freshman Kaitlin Park (Tustin, Calif./Beckman) led the way for NU, finishing in sixth, scoring a 6-over 222 and earned a spot on the All-Championship Team. Park had a stellar first season with the Wildcats, as she was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and received First-Team All-Big Ten accolades, along with sophomore Hana Lee, who set the new program record for single-season scoring average at 74.27.

    Senior Lauren Weaver played a big part in Northwestern's success over the last four seasons and was a key contributor in another monumental moment for the program, helping the team win the Big Ten title. Weaver leaves NU as the program's record-holder for four-year scoring average and had 11 top-10 finishes in her career, including two first-place showings.

    "Honestly this is the best I've ever felt in my college golf career, even better than when I had my individual wins," Weaver said. "This is awesome to get our first team victory and a Big Ten Championship. I'm really happy for Emily and (assistant coach) Beth (Miller) because this is the first time in their career that their team has won any tournament, let alone a Big Ten Championship, and it's just awesome for everyone and we are all really excited."

    The great memories did not end at the 2013 Big Ten Championships as the Wildcats made their 11th trip to the NCAA regional and a strong final round propelled the 'Cats to a sixth-place finish and trip to the 2013 NCAA Championships. It was just the second appearance in program history and NU finished in the top 15, placing ahead of two teams ranked in the top 10.

    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. 4
    Date May 5, 2013
    Location Homewood Field | Baltimore, Md.
    Original Story Wildcats Stifle Gators to Reclaim ALC Championship
    Social Media @NULax   |  Northwestern Lacrosse
    Top 20 Countdown Northwestern's Top 20 Moments of 2012-13 Countdown

    So often in sports and in life, success is defined not by avoiding adversity but by how you respond to it. The 2013 Northwestern women's lacrosse team proved the accuracy of that sentiment in its response to a difficult 22-4 loss to American Lacrosse Conference rival Florida late in the 2013 season.

    Just two weeks after suffering that uncharacteristic defeat, five-time National Coach of the Year Kelly Amonte Hiller and the defending champion Wildcats managed to completely turn the tides on the Gators, stifling a high-powered Florida attack to post an 8-3 win in the ALC Tournament championship game May 5 in Baltimore. Putting to rest the memory of its regular-season loss, Northwestern perfectly executed its game-plan and received a dominant effort on the draw control by junior Alyssa Leonard en route to its sixth ALC Tournament title in the seven-year history of the event.

    ALC Championship Recap

    Florida scored only one goal in the final 51 minutes of game action, while UF's top two point-scorers on the season -- Kitty Cullen (61 points) and Shannon Gilroy (57) -- combined for only one assist in the game thanks largely to another stellar face-guarding effort by Kerri Harrington. The two had combined for 12 points (eight goals, four assists) in Northwestern's regular-season loss to the Gators.

    "We were fired up to play today but it was a different kind of hyped up, it was more of a laser focus before the game and you could see it in everybody's eyes when you looked around," said Leonard, who also in that game broke the Northwestern single-season record for draw controls. "What happened in the regular season was humbling, but today we were all ready to play and we weren't going to let what happened last time affect this game."

    The win also gave the Wildcats momentum and the No. 2 seed entering the NCAA Championship, where they would cruise through its first two opponents on their way to a ninth consecutive appearance in the national semifinals.

    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 re-visit the top 20 moments.

    Moment No. 5
    Date Nov. 18, 2012
    Location Valley Fields | Milwaukee, Wis.
    Original Story 'Cats Keep Dancing with 1-0 Shutout of No. 7 Seed Marquette
    Social Media @NUMensSoccer   |  Northwestern Men's Soccer
    Top 20 Countdown Northwestern's Top 20 Moments of 2012-13 Countdown

    It's difficult to pick just one memorable moment from the 2012 Northwestern men's soccer season. There was the team's second Big Ten regular-season title in as many years, a 2-1 upset of then-No. 7 Notre Dame (who went on to achieve the No. 1 overall seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament) and an exciting 1-1 draw with eventual NCAA champion, Indiana, which ended up being the point the Wildcats needed to claim a share of the Big Ten title.

    While all will stick with the Wildcats for years to come, NU's 1-0 shutout of No. 7 seed Marquette helped the 'Cats advance to the third round of the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in the program's seven trips to the big dance and ranks No. 5 on our list of the most memorable Northwestern moments of 2012-13.

    Northwestern shut down the Golden Eagles, who entered the game averaging 2.1 goals per game, had not been shut out all season and had not lost on their home pitch. First-Team All-Big Ten honoree Tyler Miller played all 90 minutes in net to pick up his 10th shutout of the year, which ranks second in NU single-season history.

    It was Joey Calistri's goal, his team-leading ninth of the year, in the 31st minute that proved to be the difference in the match. The Wildcats had a favorable free kick spot, just to the left of the 18-yard box, after Marquette was whistled for a foul. Junior defender Scott Lakin's free kick was played back to the top of the box, finding Calistri who sent home a one-touch shot into the upper right corner past a diving MU goalkeeper Charlie Lyon.

    Both teams continued to battle in the second half with five shots for the Golden Eagles, compared to four for the Wildcats. Marquette had its only two shots on goal in the second half and Miller saved both.

    The Wildcat defense also blocked a number of Marquette looks inside the box and defended until the final seconds. NU was whistled for a foul at midfield with the clock winding down, setting up an MU free kick, but the Golden Eagles were unable to get any looks at the net as the Wildcats hung on for the 1-0 victory and a trip to Louisville for the third round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

    "I thought it was a great game," said Northwestern head coach Tim Lenahan, who captured his 250th career victory with the shutout. "I thought the first half we really played well, particularly the first 15 or 20 minutes, and Joey made a big play and then we defended like absolute warriors at the end of the game. When they were lumping service after service in there, we were hanging on for dear life but our guys were just absolute warriors. Marquette is a great team, they've had an awesome season, their coach has just done a remarkable job in the last seven years that he's been here. But we were able to make a play and then we were really battling at the end of the game to move onto the Sweet 16, so it's a good day for Northwestern soccer."

    The 2012 Big Ten Champion squad also had five All-Big Ten honorees, including Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Joey Calistri, and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Chris Ritter. Both, along with Miller and sophomore defender Nikko Boxall, received first-team accolades while senior Jarrett Baughman was a second-team honoree. All, with the exception of Baughman, return to the pitch at Lakeside Field for the 2013 campaign.

    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. 6
    Date March 10, 2013
    Location Assembly Hall | Champaign, Ill.
    Original Story Jason Welch Captures 2013 Big Ten Title
    Video Welch Wins by Fall at 2013 Big Ten Championships
    Social Media @NU_Wrestle   |  Northwestern University Wrestling
    Top 20 Countdown Northwestern's Top 20 Moments of 2012-13 Countdown

    Jason Welch of the Northwestern wrestling team was a senior during the 2012-13 campaign and had the best year of his illustrious Wildcat career. The 157 lbs. starter won the 2013 Big Ten title at his weight class and did so in dramatic fashion, using a third-period fall over Nebraska's James Green to capture the crown.

    It was an exciting, back-and-forth match, that saw Welch trailing by one before the fall. After a scoreless first period, Welch started the second period down and escaped to take the 1-0 lead. Green then caught Welch out of position and took advantage with a takedown to go ahead 2-1 after two. Green began the third period down and went up 4-1 after a reversal, but Welch quickly countered with a reversal of his own to trail by one at 4-3. Welch then started to rack up riding time and a ride out would have earned him the 4-4 tie, but he caught Green in a cradle and the official awarded Welch backpoints before he secured the third-period fall (6:38). Welch's win avenged his lone loss of the regular season, a 9-8 decision by Green during the dual season.

    Welch's Big Ten title made him the 30th different Wildcat to capture a conference crown and first at the 157 lbs. weight class.

    Welch went on to enjoy even more success at the 2013 NCAA Championships, reaching the finals at 157 lbs. The Walnut Creek, Calif., native capped his Northwestern career with his highest placement at NCAA's and became just the sixth three-time All-American in program history. He leaves Northwestern ranking seventh in NU history with 116 career wins (a career-high 34 victories during the 2012-13 season), sixth in career winning percentage at .841 and also was just the third NU wrestler in program history to capture two titles at the prestigious Midlands Championships, wrestled at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

    As a team, Northwestern once again had a successful showing at the NCAA Championships, finishing in the top 20 with two Wildcats in the finals. NU was one of just four schools at NCAA's, including team champion Penn State, runner-up Oklahoma State and Iowa, to have to wrestlers in the finals. Redshirt sophomore Mike McMullan competed in the heavyweight finals and achieved his second All-America accolade, giving NU at least two All-Americans in seven of the last eight years.

    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. 7
    Date May 10, 2013
    Location Dan Magill Tennis Complex | Athens, Ga.
    Original Story Northwestern Defeats Wake Forest 4-3 in NCAA Thriller
    Top 20 Countdown Northwestern's Top 20 Moments of 2012-13 Countdown

    Northwestern's 2013 men's tennis senior class left its mark on the program. During their freshman season, the squad managed just dual match 10 wins, but in their final campaign they notched 22 victories and the last one proved to be the most dramatic.

    Following a successful regular season, the Wildcats were assigned to the Athens Regional where 36th-ranked NU would take on 19th-ranked Wake Forest. Looking for its first NCAA tournament victory since 1998, head coach Arvid Swan's squad fell behind early as it dropped the doubles point. In singles play, wins by senior Sidarth Balaji and Alex Pasareanu put the 'Cats up 2-1 before the Demon Deacons got a victory at the No. 1 spot to tie the match. At No. 2, junior Raleigh Smith gutted out a pair of tiebreaker victories to bring the Wildcats within one victory of advancing.

    However, Wake Forest got a win at No. 4 to even the match, leaving the match to be decided between NU senior Chris Jackman and Demon Deacon freshman Morgan Mays at No. 6. Mays took the first set before Jackman rallied back to win the second, leaving it up to a decisive third.

    Mays took a 3-1 lead in the final set, however, Jackman rallied back to win the next three games to go up 4-3. Mays held serve and then broke Jackman to go up 5-4. Things looked bleak for Northwestern as Mays was serving and and was two points from victory up 30-love, but Jackman refused to give up as he managed to break back to make it 5-5. Jackman was able to hold and then broke Mays once again, setting off a wild celebration and capping a match that lasted four hours and 18 minutes.

    Moment No. 8: Armstrong's Moment of Grandeur

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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 the top 20 moments.

    Moment No. 8
    Date Oct. 21, 2012
    Location Lakeside Field | Evanston, Ill.
    Original Story Armstrong is Grand on Senior Day as Wildcats Beat Bears, 6-0
    Watch Chelsea Armstrong Feature
    Social Media @NUFHCats
    Top 20 Countdown Northwestern's Top 20 Moments of 2012-13 Countdown

    Entering the 2012 season, only eight players in the history of NCAA Division I field hockey had amassed 100 career goals. Northwestern's standout Chelsea Armstrong increased that mark by one.

    In the final home game of her remarkable career as a Wildcat, Armstrong tallied four goals as NU rolled to a 6-0 victory over Missouri State on Senior Day, allowing the Perth, Australia, native to reach the century mark. Career tally No. 100 came at the 52:03 mark in the second half off an assist from Tara Puffenberger and was her 29th goal of the season, a total that led the nation during the regular season.

    Armstrong became the third player in Big Ten Conference history to achieve the milestone. The win over the Bears was Northwestern's 15th over a 16-game span and raised their season record to 16-2 at the time, highlighting the winningest campaign by the Wildcats in 23 years.

    Armstrong would be named a first-team All-American for the second-consecutive season while also being recognized as Northwestern's 2012-13 Female Athlete of the Year. She earned three All-America honors overall in her career as well as four first-team All-Big Ten and All-West Region selections as well as 14 times being recognized as the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.

    Moment No. 9: 'Cats Claim 15th-Straight B1G Title

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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 the top 20 moments.

    Moment No. 9
    Date April 28, 2013
    Location IU Tennis Center | Bloomington, Ind.
    Original Story NU Claims 15th-Straight Big Ten Title With 4-1 Win Over Michigan
    Social Media @NUWildcatTennis   |  Northwestern Women's Tennis
    Top 20 Countdown Northwestern's Top 20 Moments of 2012-13 Countdown

    Death, taxes and Northwestern Women's Tennis winning a Big Ten title.

    For the 15th-consecutive season, the Wildcats claimed a conference crown when they took down Indiana, Nebraska and Michigan to capture the Big Ten tournament championship in Bloomington, Ind.

    Head coach Claire Pollard's squad entered the tournament as a rare underdog as a pair of tight 4-3 losses to Michigan and Nebraska during the regular season meant the Wildcats would be the No. 3 seed. Following a 4-0 opening-round win over host Indiana, Northwestern avenged its loss to the second-seeded Cornhuskers by taking them down 4-1 to advance to the championship match.

    The 'Cats wouldn't be denied by top-seeded Michigan in the matchup for the title. NU pulled off the always-crucial victory in doubles to surge in front before the Wolverines evened things up with a win at No. 1 singles. However, wins by Kate Turvy and Nida Hamilton set things up for Linda Abu Mushrefova who completed a perfect 14-0 season against Big Ten singles opponents by disposing of Brooke Bolender in three sets at the No. 4 spot, earning Northwestern its 14th Big Ten tournament title in 15 years.

    The Wildcats would go on to win a 10th-straight NCAA regional title -- defeating UIC and Baylor -- before being eliminated by Miami (Fla.) 4-3 in a thriller in the round of 16.

    Moment No. 10: Fencers Add to Sensational Streak

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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 the top 20 moments.

    Moment No. 10
    Date March 24, 2013
    Location Freeman Coliseum | San Antonio, Texas
    Original Story Three Wildcats Earn All-America Honors as NU Finishes Ninth at NCAA Championship
    Social Media @NCatFencing   |  Northwestern Fencing
    Top 20 Countdown Northwestern's Top 20 Moments of 2012-13 Countdown

    Since taking the reins of Northwestern's fencing program in 1978, head coach Laurie Schiller has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success. The eight-time Midwest Fencing Conference Coach of the Year has amassed almost 1,150 victories on the strips and has built a culture synonymous with sustained success. Since the 1999-2000 season, the Wildcats have finished no lower than ninth at the NCAA Championship; during that time NU has averaged 34 dual victories per year.

    In late March, four 'Cats made the journey to the Lone Star State with a keen eye toward extending Northwestern's historic streak. Led by not one, not two, but three All-America efforts, the quartet compiled 44 victories to secure yet another top-10 placement at the national-championship meet in San Antonio, Texas.

    Senior Dayana Sarkisova entered her final collegiate competition with three All-America awards already under her belt and in San Antonio she made it a perfect 4-for-4. The Grand Rapids, Mich., native won 13 bouts, including three of her final four, to finish eighth overall in foil. Sarkisova joins Julia Földi, Sam Nemecek and Christa French as the programs only four-time All-Americans.

    The most wins for the Wildcats at the NCAA Championships were contributed by its newest All-American, Courtney Dumas. The sophomore tallied 14 victories in epée to garner a ninth-place finish and become Northwestern's 14th different All-America honoree under Schiller.

    The 2013 All-America trio was rounded out by junior Dina Bazarbayeva. Competing alongside Dumas in epée, the native Texan won 12 bouts at the meet to finish in 12th place overall. Chloe Grainger represented the Wildcats in sabre and added five victories to the team's total.

    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. 11
    Date April 15-16, 2013
    Location The Glen Club | Glenview, Ill.
    Original Story Perry, Wildcats Run Away With NU Spring Invitational
    Video Video Highlights
    Social Media @PatGossNUGolf   |  Northwestern Men's Golf
    Top 20 Countdown Northwestern's Top 20 Moments of 2012-13 Countdown

    Junior Jack Perry broke a school record held by touring pros David Lipsky and Luke Donald, and Northwestern as a team ran away with its own Spring Invitational that concluded with the final round Tuesday, April 16, at The Glen Club.

    Watch Highlights

    Perry matched his career-best score with a bogey free final round 6-under 66 to finish the tournament at 16-under 200 (67-67-66), the best 54-hole tournament total in school history. He won the event by eight strokes over second-place Boo Timko of Ohio State.

    Perry's total bested the previous mark of 202 established by current Asian Tour and Web.com Tour member David Lipsky at the 2010 UNCG Bridgestone Collegiate and former World No. 1 Luke Donald at the 2001 U.S. Collegiate Championships. His accomplishment is even more impressive considering only two teams and five individuals finished under par at all in the NU Spring Invitational.

    The victory was Perry's second of the season and propelled him to the Big Ten's Les Bolstad Award, given annually to the conference player with the best regular-season stroke average. Perry was the first Wildcat to win that honor since Luke Donald in 2001. Perry also was an All-Big Ten first team, PING All-Region and PING All-America honorable mention award winner.