March 8, 2014
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller and Northwestern embark on the first of three two-game road trips scheduled for the next five weeks, opening their 2014 American Lacrosse Conference schedule at Ohio State and Michigan. The Wildcats and Buckeyes meet for the 13th time at 11 a.m. CT Sunday before NU and Michigan square off in women's lacrosse for the first time ever at 6 p.m. CT Tuesday.
On The Web
NU's game at Ohio State will stream live on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. In-game updates also will be available on Twitter at @NU_SportsLIVE and @NULax.
Secure Your Seats to Watch the Seven-Time Champions in 2014
The combination of a great regular-season schedule, a special primetime game at historic Wrigley Field in Chicago and the last-ever American Lacrosse Conference Tournament means there is plenty of great women's lacrosse action coming to Evanston and Chicagoland this spring. Fans wishing to join the Wildcats on their quest for an eighth NCAA championship since 2005 may do so with the purchase of a 2014 season ticket package, which includes a reduced price off the cost of a single-game ticket as well as an exclusive season ticket holder gift. Tickets to NU's April 26 game against USC at Wrigley Field also are on sale now!
The Last Meeting
March 27, 2013
Thornton, Wildcats Overcome Ohio State Upset Bid, 9-8
No. 4 Northwestern and Ohio State staged a memorable American Lacrosse Conference battle Wednesday night in Evanston, with the Wildcats scoring four of the game's final five goals to overcome the visiting Buckeyes, 9-8.
The Buckeyes in Brief
After suffering three consecutive losses by a combined five goals, Ohio State is coming off a much-needed one-goal victory over Louisville on Tuesday to enter Sunday's matchup at an even 3-3. The Buckeyes remain under the direction of fourth-year head coach Alexis Venechanos, who spent three seasons as an assistant under Kelly Amonte Hiller while helping Northwestern claim their first two national championships in 2005 and 2006. Last summer, Venechanos served as head coach of the Canadian national team, guiding her squad into the gold medal match of the FIL World Cup for the first time in the country's history.
OSU junior Jackie Cifarelli has been a catalyst on attack for the Buckeyes this season with a stellar 19 assists, while four Ohio State players -- Kaila Gottlick, Mary Kate Facchina, Jennifer Porretto and Katie Chase -- all boast 11 or more goals through six games. Chase also has 16 draw controls, tied for the team lead with Christine Easton.
Northwestern is riding a 10-game winning streak against Ohio State -- which is winless in the series since claiming the first two meetings in 2002 and 2003 -- although each of the last two NU-OSU affairs have been decided by just a single goal. The Wildcats have not played in Columbus since OSU hosted the ALC Tournament in May, 2010, since the teams' regular conference meeting in 2012 was hosted at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
The Wolverines in Brief
Michigan remains in search of the program's first win at the varsity level after falling to Villanova, Marquette and Jacksonville to open the season. The Wolverines then began ALC play on Saturday, traveling to Gainesville where they suffered a 20-4 defeat at the hands of the Gators. The game was a homecoming of sorts for Michigan head coach Jennifer Ulehla, who was an assistant coach in Gainesville from that program's inception until the end of its inaugural season in 2010 when she took on the challenge of starting another new program in Ann Arbor.
All but one player on the current Michigan roster claims freshman eligibility, setting the Ohio State program up for success well into the future. Much of the roster hails from traditional lacrosse hotbeds of Massachusetts, New York and Maryland, but also features representation from Chicago, Texas, California and Michigan. Jess Angerman is the lone Wolverine to reach double figures in points scored on the young season, pacing Michigan in both goals (six) and assists (five).
'Cats Aim to Stay on Top in New-Look ALC
The addition of Michigan has brought a new wrinkle to the American Lacrosse Conference this season, but Northwestern is attempting to maintain the dominance it has displayed throughout the league's history. Including conference tournament results, Kelly Amonte Hiller owns a career record of 61-14 in ALC play and has guided NU to six ALC tournament crowns in seven tries. Later this spring, Northwestern has the honor of hosting the eighth and final ALC Tournament before the league splinters in favor of a new Big Ten Women's Lacrosse Conference (Northwestern, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers) in 2015.
Big Stages in the Big Ten
Northwestern will take the field in two of the most recognizable venues in college sports this week, beginning with its first-ever game in Ohio Stadium on Sunday. The Buckeyes previously hosted all women's lacrosse games in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium before moving to the home of the school's football program, which seats 102,329. On Tuesday, NU and Michigan will clash in Michigan Stadium in a venue that holds more than 109,000 fans of the Maize and Blue on Saturdays in the fall. NU's veterans should have little difficulty adjusting to their surroundings after playing games in Cowboys Stadium, Gillette Stadium and the L.A. Coliseum in recent seasons.
UPDATE: Michigan announced on Monday that Tuesday night's game has been relocated from Michigan Stadium indoors to Oosterbaan Field House. The live online stream of the game also has been canceled.
In just the first month of the season, Northwestern has gained enough experience in close games that it is sure to benefit the Wildcats later in the year. NU has trailed at halftime in three of four outings, all of which ultimately were decided by just one goal. Despite Northwestern's hiccup against Notre Dame on Wednesday, the Wildcats boast a 17-4 record in games decided by one or two goals since the start of 2011 and are 4-1 in their last five one-goal games.
Senior Alyssa Leonard is poised to make history in the near future as she approaches the career draw controls record in NCAA Division I women's lacrosse. With a remarkable 36 draw controls through four games, the 2014 Tewaaraton Award candidate stands at 342 career draw controls, just 11 behind the Division I career record of 353 currently held by Vermont's Kristen Millar (2006-09). Leonard, whose owns a single-game best of 15 draw controls, can join NU great Hannah Nielsen as Wildcats with NCAA career records to their names; Nielsen dished out an NCAA-record 224 assists in her 86 games at Northwestern, 46 more than second-place Jen Adams (Maryland, 1998-01).
NCAA Women's Lacrosse Record Book (PDF)
@NULax Gameday At A Glance
Game details, series history, facts, figures and more to get you set for Northwestern's matchup with Ohio State Sunday afternoon...
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