March 24, 2008
Box Score (PDF)
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Wildcat teammates Hilary Bowen and Danielle Spencer (Rochester, N.Y./Brighton) made the most of their New York homecoming, each netting four goals to lead top-ranked Northwestern to a 19-7 victory over sixth-ranked Syracuse in front of nearly 1,700 fans at the Carrier Dome. NU remains unbeaten on the year at 8-0 and increased its overall winning streak to 29 games, two shy of the program's all-time record.
"We have a young team, and this was their first real test of the season," said head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller. "I think they did a great job of responding and making adjustments. We did a lot of things well, and now we need to build on those things."
It was business as usual for Northwestern in the early going as goals by Bowen, freshman Brooke Matthews (Baltimore, Md./Friends School) and sophomore Katrina Dowd (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Yorktown) put the Wildcats on top 3-0 less than five minutes into the game. But the Orange would strike back with three unanswered goals, including a pair from Megan Mosenson, tying the game at three with 13:39 remaining in the half.
Bowen's second goal put NU on top 4-3 with just over eight minutes remaining in the first, which was answered with an SU goal five minutes later. But Spencer would give the `Cats the lead at the break, netting her first of the game with 1:56 remaining.
"I thought we played a little bit tentative early on," Amonte Hiller said. "Every time we were aggressive in the first half we scored. We knew that was what we needed to focus on in the second half, and it opened up some opportunities for us offensively."
Syracuse would draw first blood in the second half, knotting the game at five less than two minutes in. But the Orange's thoughts of an upset were quickly squashed as NU would reel off 10 unanswered goals over the next 20 minutes to put the game away, led by three apiece from Spencer and junior Hannah Nielsen
(Adelaide, Australia/Brighton Secondary).
The Orange tried to spark a late comeback with two goals of their own to cut the lead to 15-7, but a pair of goals from Bowen, as well as goals from Matthews and Dowd sealed the victory. When the dust settled, Northwestern had outscored Syracuse 14-3 in the second half and out-shot the Orange 22-9, finishing with a 31-25 shot advantage. Dowd finished with a career-high four goals, while Nielsen and Matthews each netted three a piece for the Wildcats.
NU's defense, anchored by senior Christy Finch (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson), shut down the nation's leading scorer in Katie Rowan, limiting her to just one shot on the evening. Junior goalkeeper Morgan Lathrop (Briarcliff, N.Y./The Hackley School) continued to play big in important games, recording a season-high nine saves in net. Northwestern improves to 4-1 all-time against Syracuse and have recorded four straight victories over the Orange.
Northwestern will have little time to celebrate this victory as the Wildcats return home for a pair of games against ranked opponents this weekend at Lakeside Field. The `Cats host ninth-ranked Georgetown at 7 p.m. Friday, March 28, in the first night game at their new home. It also marks the second annual "Friends of Jaclyn" Brain Tumor Awareness College Lacrosse Challenge.