Fans gather at Nevin’s for championship watch party

Christina Chaey

Evanston resident Jeff Kashycke would tell students to choose the Northwestern lacrosse team over rapper Common any day.

“These girls should take over Armadillo Day and take over the stage,” said Kashycke, who has followed the team’s progress for seven years.

Kashycke was one of about 70 people who attended a watch party at Tommy Nevin’s Pub to cheer on the Wildcats as they played for their fourth straight NCAA championship Sunday night. About 20 students, many sporting NU apparel, attended the event, which was hosted by the Athletic Department.

“We’re really big lacrosse fans. We make it out to a bunch of games,” said Weinberg junior Emily Stecher. “For us it was really natural to come because we want to celebrate how good these girls are.”

Although a sizeable number of people showed up, more NU students could have attended, Stecher said.

“I’m pretty disappointed in the number of students, because a lot of these people seem like middle-aged people from Evanston, whereas I think that Northwestern students should really be supporting our great lacrosse team,” she said.

The small student turnout may have been the result of poor publicity, said Communication junior Shauna Perlman.

“It’s a really busy weekend, obviously, but it’s a really big deal that we’re in a final and that we keep being in a final, so it’s disappointing that more people aren’t here,” she said. “But we would never miss it. I think it’s cool that they organized something.”

As the first hour of the event wound down, people sat in small groups to eat, drink and talk before the second half began. Diners ordered burgers and drinks from the bar as they watched the game, held in Towson, Md., on one of two widescreen televisions in the back of the restaurant. A few minutes into the second half, the room filled with cheers and whistles as NU scored three goals in a row. The crowd booed and jeered every time the referees called fouls.

“It’s really nice to hear everyone applauding when we score or boo when they call a bad foul,” said Stecher, who watched the team’s finals last year at the Globe Café and Bar.

As the victorious team came on the screen after the final minute, attendees clapped, cheered and clinked glasses.

When Coach Kelly Amonte Hiller flashed across the screen, her image was met with shouts of approval.

“She’s the best,” Kashycke said of Amonte Hiller, who has now led the team to victory in the NCAA finals four years in a row. “They’re the best team in the nation. It’s been a great night.”

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