Northwestern lacrosse saw their season come to an end with a 19-14 loss Saturday afternoon in a rematch at No. 2 North Carolina in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament.
The ‘Cats kept pace with the Tar Heels early in the game thanks to attacker Selena Lasota, who scored four goals in the first 14 minutes. The game was tied 6-6 halfway through the first period, but North Carolina played a cleaner and more disciplined next 15 minutes than Northwestern, giving them an 11-8 lead going in the break.
The Tar Heels – playing in front of their home crowd – carried their momentum into the second half and they extended their lead to 5 goals with 13 minutes left in the game. The two teams traded goals for the remainder of the competition, but the Wildcats were kept at a safe distance.
Northwestern played a good game offensively and generated many open shots. However, UNC goalie Taylor Moreno made a career-high 17 saves while Northwestern’s goalies Julie Krupnick and Mallory Weisse only made a combined five stops.
Lasota scored 5 goals on the afternoon, giving her an astounding 22 over the course of three games, which tied the record for most goals in a single NCAA tournament. Lasota also eclipsed the 200-goal milestone for her Northwestern career.
6:50 (2) — NCAA TOURNAMENT RECORD!— Northwestern Lax (@NULax) May 19, 2018
Selena Lasota scores her 22nd goal of the tournament, tying Katrina Dowd’s record set in 2009.
[And we’ve got ourselves a ball game]
UNC 16, #B1GCats 13 #NCAAWLAXpic.twitter.com/fsEMG3tYfC
Seniors Shelby Fredericks (four assists, nine draw controls) and Sheila Nesselbush (one goal, one assist) finished their incredible careers Saturday afternoon. Fredericks finished her career with 108 assists and 496 draw controls while Nesselbush scored 122 goals during her time in purple. Senior defender Lindsay Darrell finished her impressive final season with 41 ground balls and 26 caused turnovers.
While the Wildcats did not achieve their preseason goal of making the Final Four, this season showed that the program remains entrenched in the top tier of college women's lacrosse. They finished their season with a final record of 15-6, their highest win total since 2013. They also advanced to the NCAA tournament quarterfinals for the first time since 2015.
The Wildcats return five starters next season including Lasota. Coach Amonte Hiller will have to work hard to replace the senior class that won 51 games and helped earn four NCAA tournament appearances for the program.