March 5, 2011
Score: No. 2 Northwestern 24, No. 7 Georgetown 15
Site: Washington, D.C. (Multi-Sport Field)
Records: NU (5-0, 1-0 ALC); Georgetown (0-1, 0-0 Big East)
Up Next: Friday, March, 11 vs. California Evanston, Ill. 3 p.m. CT
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- No. 2 Northwestern capped off its season-opening five-game road trip in style Saturday, overwhelming No. 7 Georgetown 24-15. The Wildcats were led by junior Shannon Smith's five goals and five assists, while sophomore Amanda Macaluso and freshman Kara Mupo each tacked on hat-tricks.
With 12 minutes to go in the first half and the game tied, 3-3, the 'Cats took off on an 8-2 scoring run to end the frame, and put in two goals just 40 seconds into the second stanza to break the game open.
While Mupo led the freshman scoring output with her first career hat-trick, Alyssa Leonard (two goals), Kat DeRonda (one goal, two assists), Kelly Rich (two goals), and Kate Macdonald (one assist) all provided key contributions just five games into their college careers.
The rest of the scoring was provided by the usual suspects, with two goals apiece coming from Brooke Matthews and Erin Fitzgerald, and scores from Alex Frank, Taylor Thornton, Ali Cassera, and Beatrice Conley.
"It wasn't our best day defensively and we got a little sloppy at the end, but overall we started to find our groove offensively, and that's exciting," said head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller
. "Every team we've played so far has given us a great challenge and that does nothing but help us as we move forward."
It was the Amanda Macaluso show early, as the sophomore came from behind the cage to score and put NU on the board four minutes into the game. After Georgetown responded with two quick goals, Erin Fitzgerald took a pass from Shannon Smith at the top of the box and drove right before putting a shot straight through the goalie's legs to tie the game at two. Macaluso followed with another goal through the five-hole under a minute later to give Northwestern the lead at the 20-minute mark, however, Georgetown would soon tie it, and the game remained deadlocked until 12 minutes remained in the half.
Alyssa Leonard rekindled the offense when she drove around the crease and fired a blistering shot into the top right corner to put NU ahead. After Fitzgerald converted a free position chance, Macaluso got her hat-trick off a feed from Mupo. Georgetown closed the gap to 6-4, but Shannon Smith got rolling with two quick goals and a beautiful feed to Alex Frank for another, and Beatrice Conley's second goal of the year gave Northwestern their largest lead at 10-4.
For the second game in a row, the home team notched a goal with under a minute to go in the opening stanza, seemingly halting Northwestern's momentum heading into half. However, Shannon Smith controlled the ensuing draw and led an NU fast break, feeding to an open Brooke Matthews who calmly deposited her first goal of the game with 43 seconds left on the clock.
Georgetown switched goalies at halftime to no avail, as Mupo and Matthews scored 30 and 40 seconds into the second half, respectively, to put NU up 13-5. Georgetown fought valiantly and twice closed the gap to six, however the rout was effectively on. Leonard tallied her second of the game before Ali Cassera put in a left-handed shot and Taylor Thornton scored off a free-position shot. Shannon Smith and Kara Mupo then alternated on the next five Wildcat goals over a six minute span to give Northwestern a 21-11 lead with 13 minutes to play.
The Northwestern scoring effort was finished off with one goal from Kat DeRonda and the final two from Kelly Rich.
In goal, Junior Brianne LoManto was a wall for the Wildcats, stopping multiple point blank looks and nine shots in total. Senior Darby St. Clair-Barrie posted two saves in relief of LoManto.
Alex Frank led Northwestern with seven draw controls and six ground balls, while Thornton notched five of each.
Northwestern hosts its first 2011 home game this Friday, March 11, as the California Golden Bears travel to Evanston to take on the `Cats at Lakeside Field.
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