HBO to air segment on NU women’s lacrosse

Kyle Berlin

The Northwestern women’s lacrosse team is again in the spotlight, but this time for something besides their record-setting streak of national championships.

A segment scheduled to air Tuesday on the HBO series “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” details the team’s relationship with Jaclyn Murphy, a child diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumor at 9 years-old.

After hearing of her illness through a friend of Coach Kelly Amonte-Hiller, members of the team began to send Murphy text messages and get-well cards. In April 2005, the team met Murphy in person and heard her story of chemotherapy, multiple hospital and a series of grim diagnoses.

After the meeting, not only has Northwestern start won five championships in a row, which the team says started with that meeting, but Murphy’s health improved considerably and she is now a 14-year-old freshman junior varsity lacrosse player at Arlington High School in LaGrangeville, N.Y.

After winning their first national championship, Hannah Whitman, a defender, went into the stands and brought Murphy onto the field for the celebration. For Murphy this became an annual tradition as the Wildcats racked up one championship after another, and it is certainly one the Wildcats hope to repeat next year.