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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Lacrosse: Wildcats look to rebound from loss at Penn

Having its 36-game winning streak snapped last Sunday was tough, but now Northwestern is concentrating on not losing back-to-back games for the first time since 2003.

While the team is no longer undefeated, the Wildcats are confident this wake-up call is just what they needed to start the postseason.

“As crazy as it sounds, I’m glad that we lost in the way we did,” sophomore Danielle Spencer said. “A lot of the mistakes we made in that game were mistakes we have been making all season, but it took a really good team to capitalize on those mistakes. Now it hits us that we need to fix them.”

The Cats committed 33 fouls, more than twice as many as Penn. The Quakers also won 21 of 26 draw controls, limiting the possessions NU had while tiring out the Cats.

After allowing more than 10 goals just once over their first 10 games, Cats opponents have reached double-digit four times in their last six games. NU also had to rally for wins twice before they finally blew a first-half lead last Sunday.

After the loss, the team watched its game film to figure out what went wrong. It wasn’t easy to sit through.

“When you are in the moment of a loss it hurts, but after the fact it hurts more,” coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said.

The silver lining in losing is that the timing couldn’t have been better, provided the team learns from its mistakes.

“We’re glad the loss happened in the regular season and not the playoffs,” junior Hannah Nielsen said.

Nielsen was also just named the American Lacrosse Conference Player of the Year after leading the Cats in scoring and finishing second in the conference in points and assists per game.

Being stripped of its undisputed No. 1 ranking by Penn is tough (NU is still technically tied for first in the latest IWLCA poll), but the Cats still have games to play as the American Lacrosse Conference tournament begins Friday in Evanston.

A loss this weekend might cost NU top ranking in the NCAA tournament.

In order to win the ALC tournament and avoid that fate, the Cats need to use their loss as motivation.

“I don’t think a loss does (us) any good if we don’t do anything about it,” Amonte Hiller said. “Maybe the loss will help us realize some our deficiencies, but if we don’t work hard at fixing them, we won’t go anywhere.”

The Cats haven’t lost an ALC game since May 6, 2004. With the chance to face a reeling NU team and an automatic NCAA bid at stake for the tournament winner, the rest of the conference is even hungrier for a win than usual.

“Everyone wants to knock us down off our throne,” Spencer said. “But now you have to multiply that by five because people don’t give a crap about beating us; they just want to win the conference. We are trying to prepare for it by working our asses off in practice.”

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Lacrosse: Wildcats look to rebound from loss at Penn