On a slick, snowy field, #11 Northwestern spent nearly the entire first half in the Titans’ territory. Lasota (4 goals, 3 assists) proved that last season's injury is not a concern, as she thrashed through the Titan defense at will. However, there were many more contributors to the historic first half performance: in total, 11 players scored in the half for the Wildcats, including 3 points apiece for Emily Stein and Nicole Beardsley.
Meanwhile, Detroit Mercy could not find any sort of offensive rhythm, turning the ball over frequently when pressured by the Northwestern defenders. The Titans put up just 1 shot on goal in the half, which was saved by goalkeeper Julie Krupnick. The ‘Cats led 15-0 at the break.
Selena Lasota is showing no mercy to Detroit Mercy, scoring her 3rd goal to put the 'Cats up 15-0— NBN Sports (@nbn_sports) February 11, 2018
Anticipation built in the second half as Northwestern sought to record its first shutout in team history and/or the most goals in team history (27). However, Detroit Mercy showed some life and was able to prevent both of those things from happening. Regardless, the Wildcats successfully slowed the pace of the game, giving them more offensive set opportunities.
Overall, the Wildcats’ offensive performance was one to remember. In addition to Lasota’s 4 goals, the Stroup sisters (Brianna and Danita) combined for 5 goals; Emily Stein and Taylor Pinzone also contributed multi-goal performances. The team also recorded 13 assists spread out over 10 players, their largest output since 2011.
Northwestern’s critics last year said they were consistently outperformed in transition against ranked teams and failed to capitalize on fast breaks. That was not the case on Sunday: most of the ‘Cats first-half goals were in transition as players like Lasota used their athleticism to weave through the overmatched Titans.
While these two wins certainly demonstrated the Wildcats’ talent, the real challenge begins in their next stretch of non-conference games against Colorado, Duke and USC. Northwestern faces the Colorado Buffaloes on Thursday at 2 p.m. in Evanston.