EVANSTON, Ill. -- Winners of nine straight games, No. 4 Northwestern is set to welcome two more high-caliber opponents to the shores of Lake Michigan this weekend, hosting ninth-ranked Duke at 7 p.m. Friday and No. 15 Stanford on Sunday afternoon (1 p.m.).
Tickets to all Northwestern Lacrosse home games may be purchased at the entrance to Lakeside Field for $7 (adults), $4 (senior citizens and youths) or $3 for large groups. Admission is free for Northwestern students with presentation of a valid WildCard. Parking is free for all fans.
On Friday night, Northwestern will be giving away free NU Lacrosse Rally Towels to early arriving fans at Lakeside Field.
Following the 'Cats
Friday night's matchup with ninth-ranked Duke will be available to watch live on the Big Ten Digital Network via Wildcats All-Access (subscription required), a broadcast that is scheduled to re-air on the linear Big Ten Network at 11:30 a.m. CT Monday. NU's showdown with Stanford also will stream live online and be aired on tape delay on BTN at 11 a.m. CT Tuesday. Audio of both games is available online at WNURSports.com, while fans also can access live in-game updates by following @NU_SportsLIVE on Twitter.
Make Your Pledge Per Goal for NU vs. Stanford!
Last year, the NU Lacrosse Booster Club helped the Wildcats outfit their new locker room by raising upwards of $4,000 with the Pledge for Goals game against Virginia, and the Club is looking for your help again in 2013. Just make a pledge to donate funds based on the total number of goals the 'Cats score during their game against Stanford on Sunday, April 14. It's easy to do! Just visit
WildcatLacrosseBoosters.org, enter the appropriate information and select how much you'd like to pledge per goal scored. Then sit back, cheer on the 'Cats, and enjoy the game!
Scouting the Blue Devils/Series History 2013 Season: 9-3 (2-3 ACC), No. 9 IWLCA 2012 Postseason: NCAA Quarterfinals Head Coach: Kerstin Kimel (Maryland, '93); 225-115 at Duke; 18th season Key Players: Kerrin Maurer (So., A): 25 goals, 21 assists; Makenzie Hommel (Sr., A): 33 goals, 39 points; Taylor Virden (Jr., D): 24 ground balls, 38 draw controls, 13 caused turnovers In the Cage: Kaitlin Gaiss (Sr., GK): 8.0 GAA, .368 save pct.; Kelsey Duryea (Fr., GK): 9.1 GAA, .546 save pct. Series History: NU leads, 10-2 Last Meeting: Northwestern 12, Duke 7 (May 19, 2012; Evanston)
A perennial NCAA title hopeful out of the ACC, Duke is now making the trip from Durham to Evanston for a fifth consecutive year; the Blue Devils twice have drawn Northwestern in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament, most recently in 2012 when NU recorded a 12-7 victory to earn a trip to the national semifinals. The Wildcats have won the last nine meetings, with Duke's last victory coming in 2006 when it handed the NCAA champion-'Cats their only defeat of the season.
Northwestern is facing its fourth and final ACC opponent of the regular season when it hosts Duke at Lakeside Field and will try to finish with a 3-1 mark with a win over the Blue Devils. The Wildcats have played 43 games against ACC foes since Kelly Amonte Hiller began her head coaching tenure in 2002 and compiled a 34-9 record in those outings, including a 16-1 mark in Evanston. Amonte Hiller also is 12-2 lifetime in the NCAA Tournament against the league she called home as a student-athlete at Maryland.
Scouting the Cardinal/Series History 2013 Season: 8-3 (3-1 MPSF), No. 15 IWLCA 2012 Postseason: None Head Coach: Amy Bokker (William & Mary, '95); 60-26 at Stanford (fifth season) Key Players: Rachel Ozer (Jr., A): 28 goals, 12 assists; Anna Kim (Jr., M): 14 goals, 29 draw controls; Lucy Dikeou (Fr., M): 14 goals, 16 ground balls, 14 caused turnovers In the Cage: Lyndsey Munoz (Jr., GK): 11.1 GAA, .383 save pct., 64 saves Series History: NU leads, 6-1 Last Meeting: Northwestern 18, Stanford 6 (Feb. 10, 2012; Stanford, Calif.)
Northwestern is seeking its seventh consecutive win against Stanford, a team that current NU assistant coach Danielle Spencer is quite familiar with; Spencer spent the 2012 campaign on staff in Palo Alto before returning to the sidelines of her alma mater. The 2013 edition of the Cardinal boast two wins over ranked opponents this year -- No. 13 Ohio State and No. 19 James Madison -- and rank No. 1 in the country in draw controls won per game with 15.3.
Leonard Closes In On NU Draw Control Record
After recording 91 and 90 draw controls in her freshman and sophomore seasons, respectively, junior Alyssa Leonard has taken her game to an impressive new level in 2013. She now has 83 draw controls on the year and a staggering 264 for her career -- just four shy of matching Kristen Kjellman's school record of 268 set from 2004-07. Leonard, who stands eighth on the Division I career record list, now owns the second, third and fourth-best single-season draw control totals in NU history and can set her sights on the record of 110 set by current Wildcats coach Danielle Spencer as a senior in 2010.
As the anchor of a unit that ranks sixth nationally in scoring defense, sophomore netminder Bridget Bianco was in complete control in recent wins against Penn State and Virginia, games in which NU allowed a combined nine goals. Bianco's season goals against average has dipped to 6.97, making her one of three goalkeepers in the nation with a GAA below 7.0. If the season ended today, that figure would rank fifth on NU's single-season goals against average record list.
A-Grade for A-Mac
With two second-half goals at Virginia Sunday evening, senior attacker Amanda Macaluso set a career high for points in a single season with 28, one better than her previous best set as a sophomore in 2011. Macaluso, who has started all 12 games this season, recently keyed a pair of narrow NU wins when she scored the game-winning goal with 5:29 to play against Ohio State and assisted on the Alyssa Leonard tally that defeated Syracuse on March 30.
Macdonald Makes Her Mark
Junior defender Kate Macdonald made a big impact at the defensive end in Northwestern's wins over No. 8 Penn State and No. 11 Virginia last week. Against Penn State, Macdonald earned her second career start and her first of the season and collected a career-best four ground balls -- doubling her previous single-game high -- also scoring a goal while helping hold the Nittany Lions 11 goals below their season scoring average. She then started again at Virginia and matched her effort with another four ground balls, also adding two caused turnovers and draw control in the win.
After this weekend, Northwestern will set its sights on a return trip to Gainesville and the University of Florida, where it will face off with the Gators in a game likely to determine the No. 1 overall seed in the upcoming American Lacrosse Conference Tournament. The Gators are 14-1 overall, with their lone loss coming in conference play to Penn State (16-11). NU and Florida will meet at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday, April 20.