Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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No need for hiding marks from parents

With a 9-1 record the women’s lacrosse team is Northwestern’s winningest team of the year so far, edging out the women’s fencing team’s .878 win percentage.

The team, whose strength is its depth, is also ranked nationally in the top 10 in offense, defense, and goaltending.

That makes it a hard team to criticize.

The 3-year-old program has already surpassed its previous two seasons’ win totals to become a nationally-ranked threat. The No. 11 Cats have played consistently well and have met the team’s preseason goal to “improve at a high rate.”

After an early loss to Duke, the Cats won five unconvincing games against mediocre teams. But after that stretch of tight games, the Cats dominated their last three opponents by outscoring them 54-13.

“I think we’re utilizing all of our weapons now,” coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said.

The team’s strongest weapon is its offensive attack, heavy in depth and talent. Their 13 goal-per-game average puts them eighth in the country.

The season’s first matches featured a new hero every game — Sarah Albrecht against Ohio State , Ann Elliot against Colgate and Lindsey Munday against Delaware.

Then came Kristen Kjellman, the breakout freshman who dominated the next few games.

“If (opponents) shut one player down, we have so many other girls who can step up and put the ball in the net,” sophomore Munday said.

The defense, led by sisters Ashley and Courtney Koester, is eighth nationally averaging 7.7 goals allowed per game. The defense’s depth match up to the offense’s depth.

“I think we started the season slow, but lately we’ve made it tough for other teams,” senior Ashley Koester said.

Goaltender Ashley Gersuk has been spectacular in close games. The junior has received recognition both nationally and in the ALC. Her 7.84 GAA tops last year’s and puts her at No. 10 in the nation.

The coaches brought success to the young team. Amonte Hiller, a lacrosse legend herself, knows the game and her players respect her.

But when admiring NU’s success thus far, one must consider its schedule. The Cats have only faced four winning teams, two nationally ranked teams and two conference opponents.

NU’s easy schedule won’t last much longer. The season’s final six games are against four winning teams — including No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 9 Johns Hopkins.

NU will also face four ALC opponents, must-wins if NU wants the conference’s automatic NCAA playoff berth.

To do so the Cats must concentrate on keeping their focus the whole game and on details such as an offensive-minded defense, draw controls and ground balls.

The bottom line — if the Cats can play their final six games the way they’ve played their previous three, they have the depth and talent to find their way into this year’s postseason.

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
No need for hiding marks from parents