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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Women’s Lacrosse: She’s faster than you

In the first game of the season, Northwestern began its title defense with a freshman in its starting lineup.

Six months after arriving on campus, Brooke Matthews impressed her coaches enough for them to give her the nod to take then-injured Meredith Frank’s place at midfield.

The freshman from Baltimore has played in all 15 of the Wildcats’ games this year, including four starts. She is seventh on the team in scoring with 12 goals, though she has yet to notch an assist.

Matthew’s best asset, and the reason she has seen so much playing time this season, is her speed.

“She’s so dynamic,” coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said. “You always have to worry about her because of that.”

Though she has impressed both teammates and coaches, Matthews still has flashes of freshman inexperience.

She is fourth on the team in turnovers with 14 and has yet to establish herself as a strong defensive midfielder.

“People (in college) are a lot better at checking and defense,” Matthews said. “I have to protect my stick a lot more. I feel I have a lot more turnovers than I did in high school because they are much better defenders.”

While she was unquestionably the best player on her team in high school, Matthews is now surrounded with talent.

Not that playing behind three Tewaarton trophy nominees bothers her.

“It’s great because we play with the best people everyday, ” Matthews said. “Plus, nobody treats me like a freshman, but everyone still gets me to go out and give my best and looks out for me.”

Though she has not started since March 9 against Boston University, the freshman has contributed off the bench, and her poise on the field is keeping her in Amonte Hiller’s rotation.

That confidence and motivation to improve has drawn accolades from her older teammates.

“A big part of being out there is not being afraid to take the ball to the net and be confident you aren’t going to get the ball taken away,” junior attacker Hilary Bowen said. “Everyone comes in a little scared, but she has done a really good job with that.”

Matthews’ on-field confidence should give the Cats an extra boost of energy this Saturday when the team travels to play No. 5 Penn.

The last time these teams met was in the 2007 national semifinals, which the Cats won convincingly, 12-2.

Amonte Hiller said she doesn’t think this time will be as easy.

“This is the most important game of the season,” Amonte Hiller said. “They are really well-coached and should be a good test for us. We want to finish out the regular season strong.”

A victory would finish off the Cats’ second undefeated regular season in four years and all but secure a No. 1 seed for the NCAA tournament.

For Matthews, the season has been better than perfect.

“Everyone is so good, and everyone pushes each other so much at practice every day, ” she said. “I’ve never experienced that before and I really like it. I definitely got the full package.”

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Women’s Lacrosse: She’s faster than you