April 24, 2010
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Lakeside Field)
Score: No. 2 Northwestern 27, No. 8 Vanderbilt 9
Records: Northwestern (13-1, 4-0 ALC), Vanderbilt (11-4, 4-1 ALC)
Next Game: Friday, April 30 vs. No. 5 Virginia 7 p.m.
Box Score |
Northwestern vs. Vanderbilt Box Score
2010 Northwestern Lacrosse Statistics
WATCH: Postgame Interviews (Wildcats All Access)
EVANSTON, Ill. -- After suffering its first loss in nearly two years Sunday, second-ranked Northwestern responded in a huge way Saturday night, dominating eighth-ranked Vanderbilt from the opening draw en route to a 27-9 victory. With the victory, the Wildcats improve to 13-1 on the season and 4-0 in American Lacrosse Conference play, capturing the regular season conference crown and locking up the top overall seed in the conference tournament in the process.
"I thought the girls really responded well tonight and showed that passion that we had been trying to get them to show," said head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller. "We had a tough week of practice and I think the girls were looking to make a statement in this game. Danielle and Katrina had an unbelievable night, and I think this was one of our most complete games of the season."
The senior duo of Danielle Spencer (Rochester, N.Y./Brighton) and Katrina Dowd (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Yorktown) led a furious Northwestern attack as Spencer notched seven first half goals, helping the Wildcats roar to an 18-6 lead at the intermission. She finished with a career-best eight, which is tied for the second-highest single-game total in program history. Spencer also added an assist to bring her total on the night to nine, which was complimented by six draw controls.
Dowd continued to show her ability to come up big when the stakes are the highest, finishing with five goals and adding three assists on the night. She scored the first of the game with just 42 seconds burned off the clock, then highlighted her night with an unbelievable behind-the-back shot midway through the opening half. Dowd, who becomes the first Wildcat to surpass 50 goals on the year, also added five draws for Northwestern, who dominated Vanderbilt (11-4, 4-1 ALC) with a 27-11 edge on the night.
The Wildcats game plan from the opening whistle was to go to the goal as often as they could as Northwestern pounced out to a 7-1 lead with less than nine minutes gone in the opening half. The Commodores mounted a run of their own, registering three tallies in the space of two minutes to cut the deficit to three at 7-4 with just over 18 minutes remaining.
But that was as close as Vanderbilt would get to staging the upset as Northwestern responded by scoring nine of the next 10 goals to break the game open at 16-5 late in the first half. After a Commodore goal made it 16-6, the Wildcats would put two more tallies on the board before the half to take the 18-6 break into the intermission.
Northwestern's scoring barrage picked up right where it left off at halftime as eight of the first nine goals of the second half came off Wildcat sticks. With a heavy fog off the lake and strong winds picking up late in the game, both teams were content to burn the final minutes off the clock.
Eight different Wildcats scored at least one goal in the victory, with freshman Erin Fitzgerald (Mt. Sinai, N.Y./Mt. Sinai) netting a career-best four goals for her first career hat trick. Sophomore Shannon Smith (West Babylon, N.Y./West Babylon) and freshman Ali Cassera (Fairfield, N.J./West Essex) each finished with three goals for hat tricks of their own while freshman Amanda Macaluso (Smithtown, N.Y./Hauppauge) beat the Vanderbilt goalkeeper twice.
Junior Rachel Fox (Andover, Mass./Andover) and sophomore Alexandra Frank (Westwood, Mass./Westwood) each scored a goal on the night for Northwestern with Frank also tallying four draws for the 'Cats. Juniors Brooke Matthews (Baltimore, Md./Friends School) and Kendall Santulli (Hinsdale, Ill./Central) each added an assist on the night, marking 10 different Wildcats who tallied a point on the night.
Northwestern dominated in both shots (42-22) and draw controls (27-11) on the night while converting on seven of nine free position attempts. Sophomore goalkeeper Brianne LoManto (Miller Place, N.Y./Rocky Point) recorded six saves on the night with junior Darby St. Clair-Barrie (Scituate, Mass./Brooks School) notching a save in relief.
A great crowd of just over 1,000 braved the foggy, chilly and windy conditions and were treated to a record-scoring night. The 27 goals scored by the Wildcats on the night is the most since Amonte Hiller took over the program in 2002, besting the 25 goals scored against both Davidson and Ohio in 2003. Northwestern extended its ALC winning streak to 32 games while improving to 8-3 all-time against Vanderbilt.
Northwestern now gets set to close out the 2010 regular season with two more home games this coming weekend, beginning with a meeting with fifth-ranked Virginia on Friday, April 30. The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network with the opening draw scheduled for 7 p.m.
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