EVANSTON, Ill. -- As No. 5 Northwestern hits the stretch run of its regular season, the Wildcats welcome another highly regarded opponent to Lakeside Field Saturday when fourth-ranked and conference unbeaten Florida returns to Evanston. Before the 1 p.m. game, Northwestern will pause to recognize nine seniors playing who after four years are set to play their final regular-season contest at Lakeside Field.
Single-game tickets for all Northwestern Lacrosse home games are available for purchase at the entrance to Lakeside Field for $7 (adults), $4 (youth/senior citizens) or $3 (groups of 15 or more). All Northwestern students are admitted free of charge with presentation of a valid WildCard and on Saturday will receive a FREE Northwestern Lacrosse T-shirt, while supplies last.
How to Watch
Comcast SportsNet Chicago will air the game in its entirety on tape delay Saturday at 7 p.m. CT. Fans wishing to watch the action live can do so by utilizing the BTN2Go.com online streaming service, which is free when users supply their cable subscription account credentials. Fans are also invited to access a free online radio broadcast courtesy of WNUR Radio and stay up to date with live tweets on @NU_SportsLIVE.
Take Me Out to the Ballgame...
Northwestern Lacrosse's much-anticipated debut at Wrigley Field is just one week away!. The Wildcats will host USC under the lights (7 p.m.) at the Friendly Confines on Saturday, April 26, in one of the marquee sporting events of the spring on the Chicago sports scene. Tickets are on sale now for just $10 and are available by calling 888-GO-PURPLE or by visiting Tickets.com.
Last Time Out
In a game that was as even statistically as it was on the scoreboard, No. 5 Northwestern fell 12-11 in double overtime to the resilient Johns Hopkins Blue Jays Sunday at Lakeside Field. The loss marked the first for the Wildcats at their home stadium in nearly two years as well as the first ever road win for the Blue Jays in the series. Northwestern was ahead or tied for the first 42 minutes of the game before the visitors took their first lead, 9-8, with 17:37 remaining. The 'Cats scored the next two goals to regain the upper hand with 7:23 on the clock and were nearly able to ride the 10-9 edge to victory, but Hopkins standout Taylor D'Amore slipped free and scored with just 49 seconds remaining to send the game to extra time. JHU's Dene' DiMartino then struck with 20 seconds left in the sudden victory OT period to score her fifth goal of the game and secure a win for the Blue Jays.
Nearing the End
Fortunately for Wildcats fans, an upcoming game at Wrigley Field and the privilege of hosting the 2014 ALC Tournament mean Saturday will hardly be the last opportunity to see NU's senior class play in person. But head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller will take Saturday's final regular-season game at Lakeside as a chance to recognize her nine seniors who have contributed to so much success in their four years at NU. The group owns a career record of 70-11 (.864) and helped the Wildcats capture the 2011 and 2012 NCAA championships as well as two ALC Tournament titles. After Sunday's overtime loss to Hopkins, the class of 2014 is 33-2 in their careers at Lakeside Field, with the only other defeat coming at the hands of Saturday's opponent, Florida (8-7 in 2012).
NU's 2014 senior class consists of: Kat DeRonda (Carthage, N.Y.), Caroline Gersuk (Loudonville, N.Y./Albany Academy), Kerri Harrington (Westwood, Mass.), Kate Ivory (Narbeth, Pa./Episcopal Academy), Alyssa Leonard (Bay Shore, N.Y./Bay Shore), Kate Macdonald (Norwell, Mass./Norwell), Kelly Rich (Westwood, Mass./Westwood), Jessica Roy (Perkasie, Penn./Pennridge) and Christy Turner (Orlando, Fla.).
Finding Her Stride
Senior Kat DeRonda's offensive fireworks in two Northwestern games last week earned her American Lacrosse Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors, the league announced on Wednesday. DeRonda set career highs for points scored in back-to-back games, first tallying a personal best five on four goals and one assist in a 15-9 defeat of Vanderbilt on Thursday (April 10). Three days later, DeRonda exploded for seven points as she matched her career bests for goals (4) and assists (3) against Johns Hopkins. Her seven points were the most in a game by a Wildcat player since Erin Fitzgerald notched seven on March 16, 2013. After scoring 15 points through Northwestern's first nine games, the Carthage, N.Y., native now has 19 over her last four outings.
The Last Meeting
|No. 2 Florida (ALC Championship)||3
May 5, 2013
Wildcats Stifle Gators, 8-3, to Claim ALC Championship
Armed with a terrific game plan, fourth-ranked Northwestern took the field against No. 2 Florida Sunday in Baltimore for the American Lacrosse Championship title game and executed it to perfection, bottling up the Gators en route to an 8-3 upset win and their sixth ALC crown in seven years.
The Gators In Brief
At 14-2 and 5-0 in league action, the Gators are looking to secure the No. 1 overall seed in the upcoming ALC Tournament in Evanston, which would assure them the comfort of being the only school in the event to earn a first-round bye. Northwestern and Florida have met in the ALC Tournament championship game each of the last three seasons, with NU bookending a pair of tournament titles around Florida's 2012 championship.
The Gators own a 4-3 lead in the all-time series with the Wildcats, but Northwestern claims the most recent win: an 8-3 victory last May in the ALC championship game when the 'Cats held Florida to its lowest goal total in school history. The victory avenged a lopsided 22-4 loss Northwestern suffered in the regular season just two weeks prior to that championship affair.
Any conversation of the Gators' offensive weapons begins with senior Tewaaraton Award candidate Shannon Gilroy, who enters play this weekend as the Division I leader in both goals per game (4.56) and points per game (5.5) this season. The veteran also leads her team and ranks in the top 20 nationally with 4.31 draw controls per game in 2014. Last season, Gilroy burned the Wildcats for a game-high seven points (five goals) in the regular season before Kerri Harrington limited her to one assist in the ALC Tournament championship game.
Supporting Gilroy on the offensive end is freshman Sammi Burgess, who has been named the ALC Rookie of the Week three times this year and is second on the Gators with 40 points (27 goals, 13 assists).
ALC Tournament Coming to Northwestern
For the first time since 2008, the American Lacrosse Conference Tournament is coming to the shores of Lake Michigan. Having won six of seven ALC Tournaments since the event's inception in 2007, Northwestern will spend May 1-4 attempting to claim what is ostensibly the last tournament in league history. NU, Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan will leave the ALC and partner with Big Ten newcomers Maryland and Rutgers for the formation of the Big Ten women's lacrosse conference in 2015.
Tickets will be sold as day passes for each round of the tournament, beginning with a triple-header to open the event on Thursday, May 1.
Check out the latest edition of Gameday At-A-Glance below for facts, figures and more to help you get ready for Northwestern's Saturday afternoon showdown with No. 4 Florida...
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