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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Regan: Lacrosse’s Tom Brady has arrived

Injuries to stars can do wonders for teammates’ careers, provided the replacement steps up. Matt Cassel is now rich beyond his wildest dreams, thanks to Bernard Pollard’s hit on Tom Brady. Ditto for Brady when he replaced Drew Bledsoe.

While college lacrosse is not the same money-machine that the NFL is, the same principle has applied to junior Katrina Dowd this season.

When senior Hilary Bowen went down with a knee on April 4 against California, someone had to fill those shoes for the Wildcats – to stay both unbeaten and on track to win their fifth straight national championship.

The person to fill those shoes has been Dowd. In eight games without Bowen, she has scored 34 goals, compared to 26 in her previous 12 games. Something must have clicked for her, both after the injury and after an early-season benching took her out of the starting lineup for three games in March.

When Bowen returned to the lineup against Princeton on Saturday, Dowd didn’t defer to her elder. The Tigers had the nation’s third-best defense, but Dowd still tore through it with the fury of one of the worst hurricanes in history, which happens to share her name.

With another seven-goal game, Dowd needs to find the back of the net only four more times this postseason to break the NCAA tournament record of 17 goals. The tough part is, she probably won’t have the Cats’ Sesame Street fan club cheering her on.

Dowd’s recent play has made her the most dominating force on a team that has scored more goals (373) than last year’s offensive juggernaut (347), despite playing one fewer game so far.

But it isn’t just her scoring that has made the difference. Bowen’s return let Dowd play more midfield, her original position, instead of attack. She helped cause two turnovers and picked up several clutch ground balls to frustrate the Princeton offense.

“I definitely put more responsibility on myself,” Dowd said. “I have to be a leader now and have to step my game up.”

She sure has done that recently. A not-100 percent Bowen still drew attention from the defense, allowing Dowd and fellow junior Danielle Spencer to have their way. But this isn’t anything new for a player who has consistently stepped up in the postseason.

In her freshman season, Dowd scored three goals in the national championship game against Virginia, including the final goal to ice the Cavaliers. She had another hat trick against Princeton in last year’s NCAA quarterfinal as well.

With at least one more game this season, 24 career postseason goals and another full regular season, Dowd is well on her way to establishing herself as the most prolific postseason scorer in the NCAA. While Bowen is unlikely to win her third tournament MVP award due to her injury, Dowd is well positioned to keep it in the NU family.

When Bowen sustained her injury, coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said the one positive was that other players would have the chance to show their abilities. Thankfully for the Cats, Katrina Dowd 2.0 doesn’t look like she is going anywhere now that Bowen is back. That should leave Penn quaking in their boots before Friday’s semifinal matchup.

Assistant Sports Editor Brian Regan is a McCormick senior. He can be reached at [email protected].

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Regan: Lacrosse’s Tom Brady has arrived