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


Advertisement
Email Newsletter

Sign up to receive our email newsletter in your inbox.



Advertisement

Advertisement
The 23rd annual Chicago Pride Fest features JoJo Siwa, Sapphira Cristál and Bob the Drag Queen
Queering The Map shows queer love on campus
‘You know absolutely nothing’: Students frustrated with NU’s handling of academic integrity cases
NU’s Summer Class Schedule offers flexibility, opportunities for academic advancement
Community awards, advocacy headline Evanston’s fifth annual Juneteenth parade
Race Against Hate: Ricky Byrdsong’s Legacy
The Week Ahead, June 17-23: Juneteenth, Summer Solstice and Pride Celebrations in Chicagoland
Advertisement
Perry: A little humility goes a long way

Brew, Hou, Leung, Pandey: On being scared to tweet and the pressure to market yourself as a student journalist

June 4, 2024

Haner: A love letter to the multimedia room

June 4, 2024

Derrick Gragg appointed as Northwestern’s vice president for athletic strategy, search for new athletic director begins

Lacrosse: Northwestern’s Izzy Scane wins 2024 Honda Sport Award

June 13, 2024

Lacrosse: Northwestern’s Izzy Scane wins 2024 Tewaaraton Award

May 30, 2024

Advertisement

The secret (and short) lives of cicadas on campus

NU Declassified: Prof. Barbara Butts teaches leadership through stage management

Everything Evanston: Behind the boba in downtown Evanston

Rise of a dynasty

TOWSON, Md. – Northwestern’s popularity, even on the East Coast, cannot be taken for granted. The ball girls on the field are cheering for a school they probably hadn’t heard of five years ago. Merchandise retailers are sold out of one thing: NU apparel.

“It’s exciting to see the people in the crowd wearing purple,” senior defender and team captain Christy Finch said. “When we were here three years ago, it wasn’t like that. I would not have expected (NU merchandise) to be sold out.”

The top-seeded Wildcats, who first gained national notoriety by wearing sandals to the White House, have a chance to be remembered solely for their play on the field with a win Sunday night against No. 2 Penn in the NCAA championship game.

This weekend, the three-time defending champions have had to deal with being the fan favorites, as well as manage the expectations that come with their newfound dynasty status.

“I think we had to cope with that throughout the year and have the girls understand that we’re on top now,” coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said. “It’s really cool when you see little girls say they it is their dream to go to Northwestern to play lacrosse and it also puts us in a situation that we need to always remember what we have done to get to this point.”

With one more win, NU’s seniors will go out as one of the most successful classes in lacrosse history.

The group that includes Finch, Quinn Cammarota, Lindsay North, Hilary Alley and Fallon McGraw has compiled an 82-3 record over four years.

To realize the dream of a national championship three years running has been something unexpected and surreal for the seniors.

“As a freshman, game-by-game we started to blow teams away and we were shocked, especially by the end of the season,” Cammarota said. “It came inch-by-inch. We just kept chipping away, but we always had the goal in the back of our mind.”

Now, the Quakers are the only team that stands between the Cats (20-1) and a fourth straight national title.

While Penn (17-1) is the only team to beat the Cats this season, this is a completely different NU team than the one the Quakers defeated on April 27.

“We made some changes personnel-wise and the girls have dug deep to understand what it takes to be successful,” Amonte Hiller said. “I think Penn is still a great team, and they are blue-collar and work hard. It should be a great battle.”

NU will need to find an answer for Penn’s Sarah Waxman, the top goalkeeper in the country.

Waxman leads the nation in goals-against-average and is seventh in save percentage,

“We’re just happy to be here to begin with,” Finch said, “but playing Penn adds a little something extra to the mix, and we are excited to get back and play them.”

The last time these teams played, the Cats rushed out to a 7-4 lead, scoring more goals on Waxman in a half than she had let up all season. But Penn held NU scoreless in the second half and rallied to win 11-7.

Penn has had several come-from-behind wins this season, including a thrilling 9-8, double-overtime win over Duke in the second semifinal Friday night.

If the Cats are going to prevail, they need to keep up the intensity the entire game.

“We understand that Penn is not going to quit – they’re not quitters,” Amonte Hiller said. “We can’t just come out and storm their field. It’s going to be a battle for sixty minutes between two great teams, and hopefully we come out on top.”

[email protected]

Editor’s Note: Check out dailynorthwestern.com starting at 6 p.m. Sunday for a live blog of the championship game.

More to Discover
Activate Search
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Rise of a dynasty