May 6, 2012
2012 NCAA Division I Women's Lacrosse Bracket
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller will lead her team into its ninth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament this week, with her second-seeded Wildcats (17-2) hosting regional rival Notre Dame in a first-round matchup. The 'Cats and Fighting Irish (13-4) are set to square off at 3 p.m. CT Saturday at Lakeside Field as defending champion Northwestern begins its quest to win its seventh national title in the last eight years.
Should Northwestern advance to the tournament's quarterfinals, it would host a second-round contest against either seventh-seeded Duke or another ACC foe, Virginia, for the right to head to the national semifinals at Stony Brook University on Long Island. NU posted wins against all three of its potential first and second-round opponents during the regular season, defeating Notre Dame (17-7) on April 25, Duke (13-5) on Feb. 19 and Virginia (13-6) on April 28.
Northwestern enters the NCAA Championship with a 17-2 record and 13 victories against opponents ranked in the top 20, including seven against the top 10. The Wildcats held the No. 1 spot in the IWLCA and deBeer Media polls every week of the regular season.
This marks the fourth time that Northwestern and Notre Dame have been matched up in NCAA Tournament play with the Wildcats having won on all three prior occasions, most recently a 19-7 opening-round victory for NU on May 15, 2010. During their regular-season meeting, Northwestern cruised to a 17-7 victory in a game the 'Cats led by a 12-3 margin at halftime, thanks in large part to Erin Fitzgerald's
five first-half points.
Notre Dame owns a record of 13-4 entering play this week after bowing out of the BIG EAST Championship with an 11-9 loss to eventual tournament champion Loyola (Md.). First-year Irish head coach Christine Halfpenny has relied on the consistent scoring ability of Maggie Tamasitis (57 goals, 79 points) this season but will be without second-leading scorer Lindsay Powell, who suffered a torn ACL last week and will miss the remainder of the season.
Visit NUsports.com in the coming days for more information on tickets and how to watch live as the Wildcats and Fighting Irish do battle on Saturday.
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