Josephs Outscores No. 4 Blue Devils (Women’s Lacrosse)

Wade Askew

By Wade AskewThe Daily Northwestern

Aly Josephs 6, Duke 5.

Not bad for a senior who had been frustrated after scoring just 15 goals on the season, good for fifth on the team, while shooting at a 31 percent clip.

The frustration came to a head against Connecticut a week ago, when Josephs did not score a point in Northwestern’s 22-5 win. But after working with coach Kelly Amonte Hiller in the week leading up to the team’s contest against No. 4 Duke, Josephs broke through.

“Aly has been kind of struggling a little bit offensively; she’s been frustrated, not really finding the holes when she wanted to,” Amonte Hiller said. “So she came in this week and we watched some video of her doing some really nice things and just talked about some things, and she just went out there and did it. I think she’s got a great mentality, and that was the key.”

Josephs scored the team’s first goal nearly seven minutes into the contest to tie the game at one. She added two more goals by halftime to help NU seize momentum with a 9-4 lead. Josephs doubled her output in the second half, earning her a hat trick for each half.

But after the game, the senior deflected attention off herself and onto the rest of the team. When asked what it felt like to outscore the nation’s fourth-ranked team by herself, Josephs did not even mention her own play.

“Everyone was moving,” she said. “No one was standing still, which makes it so much easier for individuals to go to goal and go hard. And that was our focus today – to go hard individually, and it would create things for the rest of the team.”

She also refuted any notion that she might play with a chip on her shoulder as much of the media and lacrosse world overlooks her and focuses on teammate Kristen Kjellman.

Josephs consistently praises her friend and roommate, naming her as one of the major factors in her huge day against Duke.

“(Kjellman) is just a leader on offense,” Josephs said. “Defenses key on her so much because she’s so good that it opens a lot of space for everyone else, and it really allows people to go to goal when all the focus is on her.”

Josephs also pointed out the outstanding team balance that saw six different Cats score off of an array of cuts and dodges. On top of that, she stated that the key to the game was ground balls and draw controls, not her own dominating performance.

But whether she was looking for it or not, Josephs found a glimpse Saturday of the spotlight that eluded her halfway through her senior season.

Reach Wade Askew at [email protected]