EVANSTON, Ill. -- After topping two previously undefeated teams in their last two outings, No. 6 Northwestern will aim to keep momentum rolling into a key road trip this weekend. The Wildcats first will play a pivotal American Lacrosse Conference matchup with No. 10 Penn State before heading to the City of Brotherly Love to face Ivy League power and 12th-ranked Penn.
Wildcats On The Web
For the first time in recent regular season history, Northwestern Lacrosse will have its road games broadcast live on WNUR 89.3 FM and WNUR Sports online. Penn State will offer a live video stream of the game for subscribers of the CSTV All-Access video platform. Live Twitter updates also will be provided on @NU_SportsLIVE.
Take Me Out to the Ballgame...
It's Opening Week in Major League Baseball, which means the debut of Northwestern Lacrosse at Wrigley Field is just around the corner. The Wildcats will host USC under the lights on Saturday, April 26, in one of the marquee events of the spring in Northwestern Athletics. Tickets are on sale now for just $10 and are available by calling 888-GO-PURPLE or by visiting Tickets.com
Wildcats Notch Marquee Win in 2014 Lakeside Debut
What was supposed to be a Sunday showdown against defending NCAA champion and undefeated North Carolina turned into a Monday matinee because of weekend travel issues encountered by the visitors, but NU retained their focus and executed a flawlessly assembled game plan to upset No. 1 UNC, 7-5, Monday afternoon in Evanston. In the process of ending the defending champions' 15-game winning streak, Northwestern also secured a victory against the team that knocked NU out of the 2013 NCAA semifinals and snapped the Wildcats' streak of title game appearances at eight. It was the second straight outing in which Northwestern knocked a team from the ranks of the unbeaten after also dealing No. 10 UMass its first loss after nine straight wins to begin the season.
Northwestern Reaches Program Milestone
Northwestern marked a program first on Monday when it welcomed the nation's No. 1-ranked team to its home field for the first time since returning to varsity status in 2002, but it wasn't the only element of the game with a historical significance. Northwestern's defeat of the Tar Heels represented the 300th victory in NU Lacrosse history, compared to just 94 all-time losses. Now in her 13th season on the sidelines in Evanston, Kelly Amonte Hiller has led the Wildcats to 221 of those 300 wins, with the remaining 79 coming during the initial era of Northwestern Lacrosse from 1982-92.
Bianco Tabbed ALC Defensive Player of the Week
In a week in which any member of the Northwestern defense would have been a deserving recipient of the award, NU junior goalie Bridget Bianco was tabbed the American Lacrosse Conference Defensive Player of the Week for her role in the Wildcats' 7-5 upset of No. 1 and previously unbeaten North Carolina on Monday. Facing a Tar Heels squad that averaged 18.5 goals and 35.8 shots through its first 11 games, Bianco anchored an NU defense that held the Heels to five goals -- their lowest output in 32 games -- and just 12 attempts on net. She made three saves in each half and improved her season save percentage to .458. Northwestern has now held three of its last four opponents to six goals or fewer.
Penn State in Brief
Few opponents are as familiar to the Wildcats as the Nittany Lions, who last year became the first team to square off with Northwestern three times in one season. Northwestern bookended a pair of sizeable victories around a 9-8 overtime nailbiter in the semifinals of the American Lacrosse Conference Tournament. Two weeks after that game, the conference foes were reunited in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament, where Northwestern cruised to a 15-7 victory at Lakeside Field -- NU's 17th-straight victory in the all-time series.
Penn State is in its fourth season under head coach Missy Doherty, who was a college teammate -- and roommate -- of Kelly Amonte Hiller during their days at Maryland. Also on the sidelines for the Nittany Lions is former Wildcats standout and 2011 graduate Brooke Matthews, who was a member of three NCAA championship-winning squads while a student-athlete at Northwestern. PSU is 7-4 and has bounced back from losing three of five to begin the year, including narrow one-goal losses against both Virginia and James Madison. Most recently, Penn State came out on the short end of a 13-9 outcome against another ALC front-runner, the Florida Gators.
Individually, Penn State is led on attack by standout sophomore Madison Cyr and her 25 goals, while juniors Maggie McCormick and Tatum Coffey round out a dynamic top-3 for Doherty's attack. Senior Lauren Purvis paces the Nittany Lions in both ground balls (21) and caused turnovers (21), while Doherty has split the starting goalkeeper duties between Cat Rainone and Emi Smith -- both of whom have goals against averages between 9.0 and 10.0.
The Last Meeting
|No. 16 Penn||8
April 27, 2013
Penn in Brief
A return to Penn's Franklin Field will always conjure up fond memories for Kelly Amonte Hiller and the Wildcats, who claimed the 2007 NCAA championship on the Quakers home turf with a semifinal win over host Penn and a title game defeat of Virginia. Northwestern last visited Philadelphia in 2012 when it notched a 14-6 win over then-No. 8 Penn, and last year raised its all-time lead in the series to 11-2 with a 15-8 victory in Evanston.
Penn has won nine all-time Ivy League titles and seven in a row under head coach Karen Corbett, now in her 15th year with the Quakers. This year's squad is off to a 6-2 start following an 8-6 win over No. 19 Georgetown on Tuesday.
Up to Her Old Tricks
Ever since making a splash as a freshman in the 2011 NCAA Championship game, Kerri Harrington has developed a reputation as being one of the nation's top lockdown defenders and faceguarders. Harrington has continued to thrive in that role of late, first limiting prolific UMass senior Katie Ferris to one assist and zero shots in a 10-6 Wildcats win before holding North Carolina's Aly Messinger to zero points and zero shots in NU's upset of the Tar Heels.
@NULax Gameday At A Glance
Game details, series history, facts, figures and more to get you set for Northwestern's matchup with No. 10 Penn State Friday night...
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