Aug. 14, 2009
IWLCA/US Lacrosse 2009 All-America Release
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Coming off a perfect 23-0 season and a fifth straight national championship, six Wildcats have been awarded All-American honors by the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) and US Lacrosse. Hannah Nielsen and Katrina Dowd were named to the first team, while Hilary Bowen, Meredith Frank and Danielle Spencer all earned second-team honors and goalkeeper Morgan Lathrop was a third-team selection.
Nielsen, the IWLCA Attacker of the Year, was a first-team selection for the third-consecutive season. The two-time Tewaaraton Trophy winner, Nielsen closed out her Northwestern career as the NCAA Division I single-game (10), single-season (83) and career (224) assist leader. She leaves Evanston as Northwestern's all-time points leader with 398, and ranks third all-time in NCAA Division I history.
Dowd had a breakthrough junior season for the Wildcats, netting a team-best 75 goals - the third-best single-season performance in NU history. Dowd caught fire in the second half of the season, registering 56 goals in the final 13 games of the season. She shattered the NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship goal record with 22 en route to being named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
Bowen cemented her status among the game's elites in her senior season, closing out her Wildcat career ranked third all-time in the program's history in both points (299) and goals (219) and fifth in assists (80). A three-time All-American, Bowen also proved why she is one of the toughest players in the nation as she returned from a mid-season ACL tear to start the final three NCAA tournament games, including netting a game-high five goals in the championship against North Carolina.
Frank continued to be one of the leaders of the Northwestern assault in 2009, as she was one of six Wildcats to net at least 30 goals. She had five game-winning goals, but the most crucial was her goal with 1:31 remaining in double overtime to eliminate Penn in the NCAA semifinals. Another three-time All-American, Frank closes out her NU career ranked eighth all-time in points (210), seventh in goals (152) and ninth in assists (58).
Spencer tallied a career-best 64 goals in 2009, which was the seventh-best single-season performance in program history. She enters her senior year ninth on the Wildcats' all-time goals list with 134. Spencer has also been one of the top draw control threats for NU, recording 51 in helping the 'Cats lead the nation with nearly 17 draws per game.
Lathrop closes out her career as the top goalkeeper in Northwestern history, ranking first in wins (83), winning percentage (.965), saves (553) and goals against average (6.79). Another three-time All-American, she ranked second nationally in goals against average (6.53) and 13th in save percentage (.492), and stopped a season-best 11 shots twice, including the NCAA semifinal against Penn.
The six Wildcat selections is the most of any school, with Maryland placing five players on the All-America list. NCAA runner-up North Carolina had four players named, as did Duke, Virginia and Notre Dame. Northwestern has now had 13 players receive 28 IWLCA All-America honors since Kelly Amonte Hiller restored the program in 2002.