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    No. 2 Northwestern Hosts Top-15 Foes Penn State, Penn at Lakeside Field

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Lacey Vigmostad leads the NU squad with 20 ground balls this season.
    Lacey Vigmostad leads the NU squad with 20 ground balls this season.

    April 6, 2011

    No. 2 Northwestern (10-0, 1-0 ALC) vs. No. 15 Penn State (6-5, 1-1 ALC)
    Friday, April 8
    Lakeside Field
    Evanston, Ill. • 7 p.m. CT
    Streaming Video:
    Audio: WNUR 89.3 FM
    In-Game Updates: (@NU_SportsLIVE)
    Northwestern vs. Penn State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

    No. 2 Northwestern (10-0, 1-0 ALC) vs. No. 8 Penn (8-2, 2-1 Ivy League)
    Sunday, April 10
    Lakeside Field
    Evanston, Ill. • Noon CT
    Live Television: Big Ten Network (Dan Kelly, Kara Lentz) -- BTN Channel Finder
    Radio: WNUR 89.3 FM
    In-Game Updates: (@NU_SportsLIVE)

    2011 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Statistics

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- After showing off its ability to come from behind in a gritty win over No. 3 Duke last time out, No. 2 Northwestern welcomes two more ranked squads to Lakeside Field this weekend. NU squares off with ALC opponent Penn State at 7 p.m. Friday before playing another nationally televised game on Big Ten Network at noon Sunday against traditional rival Penn.

    Wildcats on the Web
    Northwestern's Friday night skirmish against Penn State is its first of the year being streamed live on as part of BTN's StudentU initiative, while Sunday's tilt with Penn will be aired live on the Big Ten Network. Fans also can keep up with all the action in both games by following the links above to listen to WNUR 89.3's live broadcasts, accessing the username @NU_SportsLIVE on Twitter or by logging onto Gametracker on

    Help Northwestern 'Paint the Lake Purple' This Weekend
    Northwestern has been the beneficiary of some outstanding home crowd support in recent seasons and the Wildcats need that edge once again vs. Penn State and Penn. On Friday, be there at halftime to participate in the Noodles Halftime Shootout and stick around afterward to receive autographs from select NU players.

    Sunday is another big day as the first 500 fans through the gates will receive a FREE purple Northwestern Lacrosse T-shirt to Paint the Lake Purple! It is also the Chipotle BIG GAME, with the first 50 NU students receiving a coupon for a free burrito courtesy of Chipotle! To wrap up the weekend, Northwestern players will once again be available after the match to sign autographs.

    Scouting the Nittany Lions
    2011: 6-5 overall, 1-3 away, No. 15 IWLCA
    Last Three Games: L vs. Florida (13-7), W at William & Mary (17-8), W vs. Lafayette (17-9)
    Head Coach: Missy Doherty (Maryland '97), First season at Penn State (6-5, .545)
    Key Players: Jen Steadman (Sr., A), 18 goals, 9 assists, 16 ground balls; Laura Lesnick (Sr., M), 20 goals, 4 assists, .914 SOG %; Mackenzie Cyr (Fr., A), 6 goals, 15 assists; Dana Cahill (Jr., GK), 80 saves, .482 save percentage, 8.45 goals against average

    Series Information
    Northwestern and Penn State have squared off twice in each of the last four seasons, with the Wildcats winning on each occasion to extend its lead in the all-time series to 12-4. NU has won by an average of 8.5 goals over the last four meetings, including a 15-9 victory in the semifinals of last year's ALC Tournament that ended the Nittany Lions' 2010 campaign. A former college teammate of Kelly Amonte Hiller, 1997 Maryland graduate Missy Doherty (formerly Holmes), is in her first season in command on the Penn State sideline. In 2010, Doherty coached Towson University to its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament, a team that was led by then-Tigers senior and current Wildcats assistant coach Hillary Fratzke. Doherty never faced Amonte Hiller's Wildcats during her seven seasons leading Towson.

    Scouting the Quakers
    2011: 8-2 overall, 4-2 away, No. 8 IWLCA
    Last Three Games: W vs. Columbia (13-6), L vs. Maryland (16-4), W vs. Cornell (10-6)
    Head Coach: Karin Brower Corbett (William & Mary '92), 13th season at Penn (125-68, .647)
    Key Players: Erin Brennan (Sr., A), 20 goals, 9 assists; Giulia Giordano (Sr., M/A), 13 goals, 5 assists, 17 ground balls; Maddie Poplawski (Fr., A), 8 goals, 26 draw controls; Emily Leitner (Jr., GK), 61 saves, .462 save percentage, 7.22 goals against average

    Series Information
    Northwestern and Penn have developed a trend of meeting when the stakes are the highest, including two NCAA semifinal games and one national title matchup from 2007-09. It was Northwestern's dramatic 13-12 double-overtime victory in the 2009 semifinals that reaffirmed what can happen when these two teams get together; NU's Katrina Dowd scored an acrobatic goal for the ages as time expired in the first overtime tying the game and giving Meredith Frank the chance to net the winner only minutes later. Two days later, the Wildcats had locked up their fifth consecutive national title. In all, Northwestern is 8-2 against the Quakers with four straight wins in the series.

    Big Outing vs. Duke Highlights LoManto's Move Up Wildcat Record Books
    With her team struggling to score in the first half of its showdown with No. 3 Duke, junior goalkeeper Brianne LoManto provided big save after big save in the second to allow the Wildcats time to stage their comeback. LoManto turned away eight Blue Devil shots in the second stanza and finished with a season-high 11 for the game, just one off her career high. With that effort--the sixth time in her career she has reached double digit saves in a single game--she moved past Jane Billeter for fourth on Northwestern's career saves list with 239 and lowered her career goals against average to 8.67. A year ago, in her first full season as a starter, LoManto came within one save of tying the NU single-season saves record (159).

    Northwestern Looks To Continue Dominance of ALC, Penn State
    Few teams in any sport have had as much success against their conference opponents as Northwestern has had against American Lacrosse Conference foes over the past seven seasons. With a win over Vanderbilt in its 2011 conference opener, NU has come out on top in 36 consecutive ALC games dating to the 2004 season. The Commodores were the last ALC team to beat the Wildcats, defeating Northwestern 10-9 in overtime on May 6, 2004, in Evanston. Northwestern has won six consecutive ALC titles and has won all four ALC tournaments since its inception in 2007.

    Florida (2-0) is the lone ALC team to have already recorded two conference victories, while Penn State comes to Evanston with a 1-1 mark in league action.

    Smith Drives Efficient Northwestern Attack
    Northwestern's hot start to the year -- during which it has averaged 16.2 goals per game, the third-best clip in the nation -- has left several players with prominent places among the nation's statistical leaders. Most notable among them is junior Shannon Smith, who leads the NCAA in points per game with 6.50, a whopping 1.23 points per game better than Lehigh's Lauren Dykstra in second place. Smith also ranks seventh nationally with 3.70 goals per game.


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