BOSTON - Coming off one of the greatest lacrosse games in recent memory, the Northwestern Wildcats (19-1) will look to take the final step in defending their national title when they square off against the seventh-seeded Dartmouth Big Green at 11 a.m. CT Sunday at Boston University's Nickerson Field. The championship game will be broadcast live on CSTV (channel 610 on DirecTV and 152 Dish Network) and can be heard on WNUR (89.3 FM) and via NUsports.com's All-Access.
Northwestern last met Dartmouth in the NCAA semifinals last season in Annapolis, Md. and came away with an 8-4 win.
The Wildcats are trying to become the first Northwestern team to win back-to-back NCAA team titles in school history.
Northwestern is 9-6 all-time in the NCAA Championship and 8-1 in the modern era under head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller. (see page 2)
The Wildcats boast six players with 32 or more goals on the year who make up 83 percent of NU's scoring. Kristen Kjellman leads with 72 goals, Aly Josephs is second with 51 while Lindsay Munday is third with 43 goals and team-best 50 assists. Laura Glassanos and Sarah Albrecht and freshman Meredith Frank round out the top scorers with 41, 33 and 32 goals, respectively.
Northwestern is 54-3 in its last 57 games. Its only losses came in overtime in 2004 to Vanderbilt in the regular-season finale, against Virginia in 2004 in the NCAA Tournament and this year at Duke on April 7.
Northwestern is in just its fifth year back as a varsity program. The Wildcats also fielded a varsity team from 1982-92.
The Wildcats started the 2006 season on a tear, winning their first 10 games before their 31-game win streak was snapped with a 16-10 loss at Duke on April 7. Since then, the revitalized 'Cats have won nine in a row, six against ranked opponents, and have outscored the opposition 148-72, a difference of 10 goals per game.
Northwestern is in the NCAA championship game for the second straight season.
With four goals in the win over Duke, Kristen Kjellman had her 17th game this season with a hat trick or better. With 72 goals now on the season, she is just the second Wildcat in program history to score 70 or more goals in a season and the first in the modern era.
Kristen Kjellman is just the second Wildcat in program history to record 50 goals in three straight seasons-she has 72 so far this season. Kjellman is the first to accomplish that feat since Kathleen Kochmansky did it from 1982-84. Kjellman scored 53 as a freshman and 59 last season. With a solid effort in the NCAA final on Sunday, she could end up breaking the NU single-season record for goals in a season which is 76, held by Kate Oleykowski (1987).
In only her junior season, Kjellman ranks in the top 3 in goals, assists and points on NU's all-time lists. She is in sole possession of third place with 185 goals, 75 assists and 259 total points. She leads the Wildcats this season with 72 goals to compliment 26 assists, including a six-goal, one-assist performance in the win at Penn March 7 and four five-goal performances vs. Ohio, at Duke vs. North Carolina in April and vs. Denver.
This year Northwestern has set single-season team records with 163 assists, 326 goals and 489 total points.
Lindsey Munday recorded her 49th and 50th assists of the season in the win over Duke, four away from both the NU single-season record (54, held by Munday in 2005) and Kelly Amonte Hiller's career total of 132 at Maryland. Munday enters the championship game with 50 on the season and 128 for her career.
NU is on pace to break the school and NCAA record for goals per game. The Wildcats currently average 16.23 per game. The school record is 15.1 set last season and the NCAA record is 16.1 set by Gannon in 1997.
NU has won 20 straight home games dating to the end of the 2004 season. The NCAA record is held by Maryland who won 22 home matches in a row during their record NCAA record 50-game win streak (1993-96).
The Wildcats, first in the nation in scoring at 16.23 goals per game and scoring margin (+8.1), have outscored their opponents by a combined score of 326-163. Northwestern's largest win was a 19-3 win over Ohio University in Evanston March 4. They have allowed 10 or more goals just six times this year. NU has scored in double digits each game and have scored 13 or more in all but two-both against Duke.