April 27, 2007
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Top-ranked Northwestern wrapped up its fourth-straight American Lacrosse Conference Championship -- its third outright -- with a 21-5 win over No. 17 Ohio State Friday afternoon at the Thomas Athletic Complex in Evanston.
The win moves Northwestern to 14-1 with a perfect 4-0 record in the ALC while Ohio State falls to 9-6 and 1-3 in league play.
With Johns Hopkins' win over Penn State today, the seedings are now set for next week's Inaugural ALC Tournament, which is hosted by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, May 3-6. The top-seeded Wildcats receive a bye into the semifinals on Friday and will await the winner of the Thursday opening-round match between Ohio State (1-3) and Penn State (0-4). No. 2 seed Vanderbilt (3-1) will take on third-seeded Johns Hopkins (2-2) Friday in the other semifinal match.
Now back to today's game where Hannah Nielsen tied a Northwestern single-game record with seven assists. Meanwhile, with four goals, Kristen Kjellman tied the school's all-time record with 228 goals in the victory. Kjellman, who also tallied two assists and eight draws, can break the record Sunday on senior day when NU faces Hofstra in the regular season finale at 1 p.m. CT.
Nielsen picked the Ohio State defense apart from behind the net, dishing out one beautiful assist after another. Six came in the first half before she finally scored a goal of her own later in the second half, finishing with a game-high eight points.
This one was all Northwestern from the outset. With the score tied at 1-1, the Wildcats scored 10-straight goals to open an 11-1 lead with 7:27 left in the period. The Wildcats raced out to a 13-3 halftime lead, due in large part to its 16-1 advantage on draw controls and a 28-5 shot advantage.
And that was just the first half.
The domination continued into the second period as Northwestern scored the first seven goals of the half as the lead swelled to 20-3 with more than eight minutes left to go.
Kjellman, Aly Josephs
and Casey Donohoe
all scored four goals to lead the Wildcats offensively while Hilary Bowen
tallied three and Meredith Frank
two and one dime.
Also scoring goals for Northwestern were Danielle Spencer, Maggie Bremer and Lindsay North while Katrina Dowd and Meghan Plunkett each added an assist.
Kristen Slahor and Rachael Cornicello each scored two goals to lead the Buckeyes. Slahor also had two assists.
Fans can show their support for the Wildcat lacrosse seniors as well as the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation on Sunday by wearing flip-flops. If 500 fans attend the game in flip-flops, the 'Cats will donate free airfare to the foundation. All fans also will be entered to win a pair of "Jaclyn's Garden of Healing" flip-flops, designed by Jaclyn herself.
Other Notes: Northwestern has not lost an ALC match since its regular season finale in 2004 ... They have now won 15-straight conference games and are 20-1 since the start of the 2004 season ... No. 17 Ohio State was the 12th ranked opponent the Wildcats have faced this season--they are 11-1 in those games ... NU has now won 14 in a row and 29-straight home games dating to 2004 ... The Wildcats are 55-2 since the start of the 2005 season ... Kjellman now has 322 total points in her Wildcat career ... Northwestern is averaging 17.5 goals and giving up only 5.8 over its last eight games -- all but one coming against ranked opponents ... The Wildcats are outscoring opponents 140-42 in the first half of games this season.