April 24, 2009
Northwestern vs. Penn Game Notes
Northwestern closes out the regular season with perhaps the NCAA's most intriguing regular season matchup, welcoming third-ranked Penn to Lakeside Field Saturday, April 25. The game is a rematch of last year's NCAA championship game and pits two of the three remaining unbeatens head-to-head.
Wildcats On The Web
Fans unable to make it to Evanston Saturday can still follow every Wildcat goal. Live streaming video of the game against Penn will be available at NUsports.com, along with live statistics. Live radio coverage will also be available at sports.wnur.org.
Scouting the Quakers
Third-ranked Penn is 13-0 on the season, coming off a 14-4 victory over Brown on April 18 which clinched the Ivy League championship. The Quakers have put together a balanced offensive attack, led by Courtney Lubbe's 39 points (25G, 14A). Ali DeLuca leads the squad in goals (27) and is second in points (37) while Erin Brennan has also eclipsed the 30 point mark this season with 20 goals and 14 assists. Emma Spiro has netted 24 goals on the year, while leading Penn in both draw controls (43) and ground balls (25). Defensively, however, is where the Quakers have made their mark this season, ranking first in the nation in scoring defense at 4.81 goals per game. Hilary Renna has paced the Penn defense, causing 12 turnovers while DeLuca and Spiro have each added 11. Goalkeeper Emily Szelest has made a name for herself, leading the nation in goals against average (4.64), recording 55 saves on the year with a .505 save percentage. Karin Brower is 100-59 (.629) in her 10th season at the helm of the Quakers and boasts a 113-76 (.598) career record in 12 years as a head coach.
Northwestern and Penn get together for the eighth time Saturday with the Wildcats holding a 5-2 series advantage. These two have gotten quite familiar with each other over the past few years, as Saturday's game will mark the fifth meeting in three seasons. NU has won five of the last six meetings, including a 12-2 victory in the 2007 NCAA semifinals and the 10-6 win in last year's championship game. The Quakers spoiled the Wildcats' run for a perfect season last year, defeating the `Cats 11-7 in Philadelphia in the regular season finale. Northwestern is 2-0 against Penn in Evanston, taking a 13-6 victory in 2005 and a 13-4 win in 2007.
Northwestern Seniors Go Down As One of Sport's Top Classes
Saturday's home finale marks the final regular season game for 10 Wildcat seniors who have made their mark not only in Northwestern history, but NCAA history as well. The class of 2009, comprised of Hilary Bowen, Mary Kate Casey, Laura Clemente, Casey Donohoe, Meredith Frank, Caitlin Jackson, Morgan Lathrop, Kristin McCandlish, Hannah Nielsen and Meghan Plunkett has amassed an overall record of 78-3, three American Lacrosse Conference titles and three national championships thus far. The class is made up of 11 Academic All-Big Ten honorees, four All-Americans and a Tewaaraton Trophy winner, and has accounted for 960 points over the past four seasons. In addition, the class has posted a home record of 43-0 and is 21-0 in ALC games.
NU Clinches Top Seed in American Lacrosse Conference Championship
With the 18-10 victory over Ohio State Wednesday, Northwestern clinched its sixth-straight regular season American Lacrosse Conference title and the number one seed in the conference tournament next weekend in University Park, Pa. The Wildcats will face the winner of the #4 vs. #5 game at 2 p.m. Friday, May 1, with the championship game set for 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 2. The Penn State - Johns Hopkins game Saturday will determine the remainder of the conference seedings.
Nielsen Closes In On 200th Career Assist
Hannah Nielsen sits on the verge of accomplishing a feat no one in the history of Division I women's lacrosse has accomplished. Nielsen, who recently became the NCAA's all-time assist leader, is just two helpers shy of reaching 200 for her career. Nielsen, who leads the nation with 57 assists, is the NCAA's single-game assist leader, dishing out 10 at Duquesne on Feb. 17, and is tied for the single-season record with 69 in 2007.
Upcoming Wildcat Promotions
Saturday's regular season finale against Penn is Senior Night, as all fans are invited to join the Pregame Tailgate starting at 6 p.m. Hamburgers, hot dogs and soda will be provided (while supplies last) and all fans are invited to bring a store-bought item to share (i.e. cookies, chips) in exchange for a free t-shirt. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Northwestern seeks its sixth-straight American Lacrosse Conference title, heading to University Park, Pa., for the ALC Championship May 1 and 2. The Wildcats, who have clinched the number one overall seed, will play the winner of the opening round game Friday, May 1, at 2 p.m. Central at Jeffrey Field on the campus of Penn State. The championship game is set for 1 p.m. Central Saturday, May 2.
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