The temperature was 11 degrees with 15 mph winds on the opening night of Northwestern’s lacrosse season last Friday night. It was not a pleasant night to be outside, but the temperature was comfortable for the Wildcats (1-0), who easily took care of Louisville in a 21-11 win. The team played the first Wildcat sporting event on the indoor Wilson Field at Ryan Fieldhouse.
Starting the 2019 season off 💪 pic.twitter.com/jsdtmLFEM9— Northwestern Lax (@NULax) February 9, 2019
Offense was not hard to come by for Northwestern, who scored 15 first-half goals to the Cardinals four.
The game started perfectly for the Wildcats as first-year Izzy Scane plowed through the Cardinal defense to score just 12 seconds into her college lacrosse career. Louisville was able to respond to three early Northwestern goals with two of their own, but a nine-goal scoring run by the Wildcats (that included goals from eight different players) put them up 12-2 after just 12 minutes of play.
The Wildcats continued to dominate the game early in the second half, but the latter part of the period was less successful. Northwestern had a stretch of nearly 15 minutes without a goal while Louisville tallied five.
“We were rushing it a little on the offensive end and defensively we weren’t able to come up with stops,” Coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said. “I think it was a combination of everything – it wasn’t just based one thing or another.”
Despite this late push by the Cardinals, the large cushion built up in the first half left no question about what the outcome would be: A dominant Northwestern victory. A key to Northwestern’s success in their high-scoring first half was their ability to regain possession after scoring by winning draw controls.Sophomore Brennan Dwyer dominated with 12 draw controls, and also contributed on the offensive end with two goals and an assist. Senior Selena Lasota led the Wildcats scoring, as she scored five goals and had one assist, and Senior Claire Quinn and sophomore Lauren Gilbert both scored three goals.
The Wildcats continue their season next Friday at 7 p.m. with a home game against Dartmouth.