May 28, 2011
2011 NCAA Championship Final
No. 2 Northwestern (20-2, 3-2 ALC) vs. No. 1 Maryland (21-1, 5-0 ACC)
Sunday, May 29
Stony Brook, N.Y. 3 p.m. CT
Television: Big Ten Network (live)
Streaming Video: NCAA.com (FREE)
Audio: WNUR 89.3 FM
In-game Updates: Twitter (@NU_SportsLIVE)
STONY BROOK, N.Y. -- The eyes of the women's college lacrosse world will fall squarely on No. 2 Northwestern and No. 1 Maryland at 3 p.m. CT Sunday when the two schools, winners of the last six national titles, vie for the 2011 NCAA championship in Stony Brook, N.Y. The matchup, which will air live on the Big Ten Network, is the first meeting between NU and Maryland since facing one another on the same national title game stage one year ago.
Buffalo Wild Wings in Evanston is Your Home for the Official Championship Watch Party
Join fellow Wildcat lacrosse fans at Buffalo Wild Wings in Evanston Sunday to watch Northwestern take on Maryland in the national championship game live on BTN! Buffalo Wild Wings is located at 1741 Maple Avenue in downtown Evanston.
Wildcats on the Web
In addition to watching the nationally televised live broadcast on Big Ten Network, fans also can pull up a live stream of the game on NCAA.com or listen to the WNUR radio broadcast on 89.3 FM. In-game updates will once again be available by following the username @NU_SportsLIVE on Twitter
'Cats in the NCAA Championship
Northwestern has thrived in the national tournament under Kelly Amonte Hiller, reaching the quarterfinals in 2004 before beginning its active streak of seven consecutive national title game appearances. NU is 27-2 in the postseason since 2002 with a 14.2 goals per game average in those 29 contests while limiting its opponents to 8.0 goals per outing. Including the early days of Wildcats lacrosse, Northwestern is 28-7 in the dance, an all-time Division I-best winning percentage of .800. Only Maryland (12) has a longer streak of appearances in the national semifinals than Northwestern's current run of seven.
Scouting the Terps
Top-seeded Maryland has advanced to its second straight national title game thanks to tournament wins over Navy (19-6), Princeton (15-6) and ACC rival Duke (14-8). The Terps, whose lone defeat came on the road at Dartmouth late in the regular season, are led by a pair of Tewaaraton Award finalists in senior Sarah Mollison (56g, 45a, 101 points) and sophomore Katie Schwarzmann (64g, 15a, 79 points). The 2010 championship game was only the third meeting for NU and Maryland since the 'Cats regained varsity status in 2002, with Northwestern having won the first two meetings during the 2006 and 2007 regular seasons.
A former teammate of Kelly Amonte Hiller's in their playing days at Maryland, Terps head coach Cathy Reese is attempting to guide her alma mater to its 11th all-time NCAA women's lacrosse championship.
Tewaaraton Finalist Shannon Smith Closes in on Record Year
Already enjoying a career year, Northwestern junior Shannon Smith's explosive postseason has vaulted her into elite company at NU and in NCAA history. Smith scored exactly five goals in her first four postseason outings before notching four in Friday's NCAA semifinal win vs. North Carolina. In doing so, she eclipsed NU's previous record for single-season goals scored with 82, surpassing Hilary Bowen's 2008 total of 81. Her 124 points are second-most in a single season at NU -- behind only Hannah Nielsen's 142 -- and eighth all-time in Division I. Smith, who has scored at least once in 44 straight games, has quickly climbed Northwestern's career lists as well, moving into a tie for fifth in assists (80), seventh in points (264) and eighth in goals (184).
Smith's next goal in an NCAA Championship game will be the 30th of her career, which would tie her for seventh all-time in tournament action.
Amonte Hiller vs. The ACC
Kelly Amonte Hiller, a former All-American at Maryland, has been able to continue the success against ACC opponents she got used to in her playing days. Since taking over the reins of Northwestern in 2002, the Wildcats have played 32 games against Atlantic Coast opponents, posting a 24-8 record in the past eight seasons including a 12-1 mark in Evanston. Northwestern was 4-2 against the ACC in 2010 and is 5-0 this season after eliminating North Carolina from the NCAA Championship for the third-straight season on Friday.
Northwestern vs. The ACC Since 2002
Boston College: 1-0 (1.000); Last: Northwestern 11, Boston College 8 (2011)
Duke: 8-2 (.800); Last: Northwestern 12, Duke 10 (2011)
Maryland: 2-1 (.667); Last: Maryland 13, Northwestern 11 (2010 NCAA Champ.)
North Carolina: 9-2 (.818); Last: Northwestern 11, North Carolina 10 (2011 NCAA semifinals)
Virginia: 5-1 (.833); Last: Northwestern 8, Virginia 4 (2011)
Virginia Tech: 1-2 (.333); Last: Northwestern 12, Virginia Tech 11 (2004)
Not Alone on the Island
Northwestern has long tapped the lacrosse hotbed of Long Island for players and the 2011 team is no different. Nine current 'Cats have returned home to Long Island for championship weekend at Stony Brook, seven of which were in the starting lineup for NU's semifinal game vs. UNC. Stony Brook is just the second host school from the state of New York since the Championship's inception in 1982.
Giving Teams Fitz
Sophomore Erin Fitzgerald came up big for the Wildcats with a hat trick in the national semifinals vs. North Carolina, her second-straight three-goal game in the NCAA Championship and her seventh of the 2011 campaign. The Mt. Sinai native has managed to find the back of the net in all but three games this year, with her career-best outing coming on March 26 at UMass when she netted five goals. Fitzgerald is second on the team with 39 goals and 46 points playing primarily on the midfield line.
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