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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Fighting Irish Goal Famine

Northwestern had a rare opportunity for a shutout Wednesday. Instead, the No. 1 team settled for a 14-goal thrashing of No. 8 Notre Dame.

Junior Hilary Bowen and sophomore Danielle Spencer dismantled the Fighting Irish (7-4) throughout the game, combining for nine goals and three assists en route to a 16-2 Wildcats win.

Top-ranked NU (12-0), though out-shot early, finished with 28 shots compared to Notre Dame’s 18. Bowen had five goals and an assist by the end of the first half, despite being a marked player by the Irish.

“When Hilary scores a couple of goals or if I score two in a row, the defense focuses on us more,” Spencer said. “It leaves other people open and makes passing easier.”

Spencer picked up where Bowen left off, pacing the Cats with two monster goals in the second half to further demoralize the Irish. Spencer’s spin moves, height and power helped her find seams in the defense that seemed at times to defy the laws of physics. She finished the game with four goals and two assists.

“At halftime I told myself I was going to score and nobody is going to stop me,” Spencer said. “The only way someone will stop me is by sending me to the hospital. Even though I was falling down, my mind was like ‘Score, score, score.'”

While the Cats’ offense was rolling, the defense and goalkeeping kept the Irish out of the scoring column until the game was well out of reach.

Junior goalie Morgan Lathrop finished with nine saves and allowed only one goal.

Though skill played a large part in Lathrop’s performance, she twice received some help from the goalie’s best friend – the post. In the first half, a shot hit the post, ricocheted off Lathrop’s back and dropped down so she could make the save.

“That was 100 percent luck and I was happy my post made that save,” Lathrop said. “My job is to limit as many goals from going in the net as I can, whether it is two or 10. Today, I’m just proud of the defense.”

Lathrop and her defense, led by junior midfielder Maggie Bremer, shined against one of the nation’s top scorers. Bremer held Notre Dame’s Jillian Byers without a point for the first time in 51 contests.

“Maggie Bremer just shut her down as she’s done with some of the other top players in the country,” Lathrop said. “Byers doesn’t let down easily. She runs like she’s being chased – the whole game.”

Solid play by the defense helped keep NU’s legs fresh, as the midfielders and defenders were able to run the ball up the field after saves or turnovers.

At one point, junior Hannah Nielsen intercepted a pass and relayed the ball to Spencer, who dished it quickly to Bowen for the goal to go up 9-0 in the first half.

“It saves all our legs if we can relay it up the field,” Bowen said. “You can pass it faster than the defense can run. If we can get there before them, it will save our legs and give us a better chance for a 3-on-2 or 4-on-3.”

With 33 straight wins to their credit, the Cats’ confidence is sky-high. But the goal is to not let the win go to their heads.

“I think it is something we need to consciously think about, but (coach) Kelly (Amonte Hiller) is really good at not letting our heads get too big,” Bowen said. “On any given day if we don’t bring our best game, we can be beaten.”

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Fighting Irish Goal Famine