May 9, 2010
EVANSTON, Ill. -- With the regular season and American Lacrosse Conference Championship behind it, second-ranked Northwestern now sets its sights on defending its five-straight NCAA titles. The Wildcats earned the number two overall seed in this year's NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship and will host Notre Dame in the first round Saturday, May 15, at 1 p.m. at Lakeside Field.
"The girls are really excited about getting a chance to make the tournament and have another home game against Notre Dame," said head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller. "This is a fun time of year, and we're excited to be a part of it. We're looking forward to a great game this Saturday."
This marks the second time this season the Wildcats will host the Irish at Lakeside Field, coming off a 15-5 decision back on March 30. In that game, senior Danielle Spencer (Rochester, N.Y./Brighton) led Northwestern with four goals and three assists with sophomore Shannon Smith (West Babylon, N.Y./West Babylon) adding four goals and two assists of her own. The Wildcats and Irish have become quite familiar with each other in recent years as Saturday will mark the 12th overall meeting and the fifth in the last three seasons.
The Wildcats are coming off another successful regular season, finishing 17-1 with 11 of those victories coming against opponents ranked among the IWLCA top-20 poll and seven against top-10 foes. Northwestern upended 10th-ranked Vanderbilt 23-14 Saturday afternoon for its sixth-straight ALC title as the Wildcats extended their conference winning streak to 36 games, including a perfect 8-0 record in the ALC Championship.
Saturday's game against the Irish marks the seventh consecutive year Northwestern will host a first round game, and ironically, the third time Northwestern and Notre Dame will meet in the first round. The Wildcats have felt right at home in the NCAA tournament since Kelly Amonte Hiller took over the reins, posting a 21-1 record, including 20-straight, and are 11-0 in tournament games in Evanston.
The NCAA first round showdown will be streamed live online at NUsports.com
at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon. The game will then be aired on the Big Ten Network beginning at 9:30 p.m. CT Saturday evening.
2010 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship Field
1. Maryland (18-1) vs. Marist (10-7)
2. Northwestern (17-1) vs. Notre Dame (11-6)
3. North Carolina (15-2) vs. Navy (17-3)
4. Georgetown (13-5) vs. Syracuse (13-6)
5. James Madison (16-2) vs. Stanford (15-5)
6. Virginia (13-5) vs. Towson (13-4)
7. Duke (13-5) vs. Vanderbilt (12-5)
8. Penn (14-3) vs. Boston University (11-8)
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