Nov. 27, 2005
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Kelly Amonte Hiller, head coach of the 2005 National Champion Northwestern women's lacrosse team, today announced the Wildcats' 2006 schedule with as many as 11 ranked teams in last year's IWLCA Top 25 poll highlighting the slate.
Eleven of the 17 regular season games are on the road--eight of those against top 25 competition.
Amonte Hiller, the 2005 IWLCA National Coach of the Year, is excited about the opportunity of adding more top-ranked programs to her season schedule.
"This year we really worked hard to try and add a lot of tough teams to our schedule," Amonte Hiller said. "Our conference is only getting tougher and we're looking forward to the challenges ahead this season.
"We know every team is going to come after us as hard as they can and try to knock us off. That's an area we have been stressing to our team this fall. We have to train for the intensity level that is going to come at us every game because we know everyone is going to be aiming to knock off the defending national champs. But at the same time, we also have to focus on ourselves and how we grow and get better as a team."
The 'Cats face a tough test right off the bat when they travel to take on Maryland Feb. 12 in College Park. From there Northwestern makes its second trip to the East Coast in as many weeks when they take on Hofstra in Hempstead, N.Y. Feb. 24 and Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J. Feb. 26.
"We have a lot of road games this year which I think will be good for our team," Amonte Hiller said. "Our girls are very disciplined playing on the road. With a lot of our girls being from the East Coast, they probably seem like home games to them. Opening with Maryland is especially exciting for our staff, getting to go back to College Park and playing against (former Northwestern head coach) Cindy Timchal."
The home slate begins with Ohio University March 4 and Notre Dame March 19 with a trip to Philadelphia against Penn (March 7) sandwiched in between.
From there the Wildcats begin a grueling six-game road swing that includes games at California (March 23), Stanford (March 25), Connecticut (April 2), Duke (April 7) and Penn State (April 16).
Northwestern finally returns home for a big weekend showdown with North Carolina (April 21) and Johns Hopkins (April 23), both NCAA tournament qualifiers in 2005.
Rounding out the 2006 slate is one final road game April 28 at Ohio State before finishing up at home April 30 against Denver and May 5 against Vanderbilt.
The 2006 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship will be played Friday and Sunday, May 26 & 28 in Boston, Mass.