Oct. 1, 2008
2009 Northwestern Women's Lacrosse Schedule
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern unveiled its 2009 women's lacrosse schedule, and it won't be an easy road for the Wildcats as they embark on their quest for a fifth-straight national championship. The 17-game slate includes 10 teams who finished the 2008 season ranked in the top-20, including home games against the other three Final Four teams from last year.
"We're very excited about the opportunity to play many of the teams we played last year, but also the additions we have on the schedule in Denver and Virginia," said head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller. "The schedule is packed with some big-time teams that have a lot of returners, so it will be a challenge, for sure. It's going to be a very exciting season of lacrosse at Northwestern."
For the second-straight year Northwestern will begin the year in sunny California, facing Denver in the season opener on Jan. 23, before an exhibition against the Canadian national team. The Wildcats will stay on the road throughout the first month of the season with four games against ranked opponents. NU will face Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., in a rematch of last year's NCAA first round game, and then will open up its 2008 American Lacrosse Conference season at Vanderbilt in a rematch of last year's ALC Championship game. North Carolina and Georgetown also finished among the top 11 in 2008.
The Wildcats will then return to the friendly confines of Lakeside Field for six of the next seven games, and will look to build on their NCAA record 44-game home winning streak. Northwestern squares off against Hofstra and Rutgers, then welcomes Syracuse to Evanston on March 22 in a rematch of last season's NCAA semifinals.
After a trip to face Massachusetts, NU returns home for three more home contests the first part of April, beginning with a Duke team that advanced to the NCAA semifinals last season. California and ALC rival Penn State complete the home stand for the Wildcats.
Northwestern then heads east for a crucial late-season road swing against ranked opponents, facing ALC opponent Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Md., on April 17, and then down to Charlottesville to face Virginia on April 19.
The Wildcats finish the regular season at home, facing Ohio State in the conference regular season finale, before closing out the regular season with a home game against Penn on April 25 in a rematch of last season's NCAA championship game.
Penn State will serve as the host institution for the 2009 ALC Championships in University Park, Pa., to be held April 30-May 2. The NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championships begin May 10, with the semifinals and finals once again being held at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson, Md.
Northwestern is coming off its fourth-straight national championship season in 2008, finishing 21-1 and defeating Penn 10-6 in the NCAA finals on May 25 in Towson, Md. The `Cats return all but two starters from last year's team, including Tewaaraton Trophy winner Hannah Nielsen (Adelaide, Australia/Brighton Secondary) and single-season goal leader Hilary Bowen (Rochester, N.Y./Brighton).