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    Northwestern Falls To North Carolina in 18-16 Shootout

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Senior Katrina Dowd tied her career-best in both goals (seven) and points (eight) against North Carolina.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Senior Katrina Dowd tied her career-best in both goals (seven) and points (eight) against North Carolina.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    April 18, 2010

    Site: Evanston, Ill. (Lakeside Field)
    Score: No. 2 North Carolina 18, No. 1 Northwestern 16
    Records: Northwestern (12-1, 3-0 ALC), North Carolina (13-1, 4-1 ACC)
    Next Game: Saturday, April 24 vs. No. 9 Vanderbilt • 7 p.m.

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    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern and North Carolina staged a great rematch of last season's NCAA championship game in front of a record 1,705 fans on a beautiful day at the lakefront, but a strong second-half surge by UNC proved to be the difference as the Wildcats fall to the Tar Heels 18-16 at Lakeside Field.

    "A loss is never a fun thing, and this one is a tough one to take," said head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller. "I don't necessarily subscribe to the notion that a loss can be a good thing, but now that we have lost, we need to see what we can take from it. There are a lot of little things we didn't do well today, and credit North Carolina for playing a great game. We just need to get better now as we move forward."

    The defeat overshadowed what was an incredible day for senior Katrina Dowd (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Yorktown), who tied her career-best in both goals (seven) and points (eight). Dowd also added three ground balls, a pair of draw controls and a caused turnover for the Wildcats.

    Sophomore Shannon Smith (West Babylon, N.Y./West Babylon) added a pair of goals and three assists to the Northwestern attack with sophomore Alexandra Frank (Westwood, Mass./Westwood) notching three goals and an assists while winning four draw controls for the 'Cats. Junior Rachel Fox (Andover, Mass./Andover) and freshman Amanda Macaluso (Smithtown, N.Y./Hauppauge) also notched goals on the afternoon for Northwestern.

    The first half proved to be all about the offensive runs as the Wildcats opened up the game with two-straight free position goals by Matthews and Macaluso, which was quickly answered by a pair of North Carolina goals just a minute apart.

    Northwestern would tally the next four scores and appeared to be taking control of the game, building a 6-2 advantage at the 14:39 mark. But as they would do all afternoon, the Tar Heels responded quickly, using a 6-0 run over a four-minute span to claim the lead at 8-6 with 9:59 remaining in the first half.

    That run was then answered by the Wildcats with a 6-0 run of their own over a six minute span, sparked by three goals from Dowd. She also assisted on a goal from Smith as Northwestern built a 12-8 lead with just over three minutes to play in the opening half. But that only seemed to spark the Tar Heel attack, who responded with four goals in the final two minutes--including a pair in the final 15 seconds of the half--to send the game into the halftime break tied at 12.

    That late run by North Carolina proved to be the turning point in the contest as the Tar Heels would score three of the first four in the second half to build a 15-13 lead with 19:21 remaining. Dowd was twice able to cut the gap to one, doing so at 15-14 and again at 16-15, but a pair of late tallies by North Carolina extended its lead to 18-15 with 7:31 left to play. The Wildcats had some opportunities down the stretch, but some big saves from Tar Heel goalkeeper Logan Ripley kept the Northwestern rally at bay.

    It was a very even contest between the nation's top two teams as both the Wildcats and Tar Heels were nearly equal in every statistical category. Northwestern held a 33-31 edge in shots and a 16-13 advantage in ground balls while North Carolina was better in the turnover category (12-8) and the two teams were equal in draw controls (18-18).

    Senior Danielle Spencer (Rochester, N.Y./Brighton) was held to just one assist on the day but did notch four draws for the Wildcats, second to freshman Taylor Thornton's (Dallas, Texas/Hockaday School) career-best five. Dowd and sophomore Lacey Vigmostad (Northport, N.Y./Northport) led the Wildcats with three ground balls apiece.

    North Carolina was led by Lauren Zimmerman's seven points (5G, 2A) on the afternoon, followed by five points from both Corey Donohoe (3G, 2A) and Becky Lynch (2G, 3A). Ripley finished with nine saves in net for the Tar Heels.

    Northwestern now looks to regroup this week in preparation for another crucial home game against a top-10 opponent when it welcomes ninth-ranked Vanderbilt to Lakeside Field with first-place in the American Lacrosse Conference on the line. Opening draw against the Commodores will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 24 at Lakeside Field.

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