Lacrosse: NU to tangle with US squad

Jonah Rosenblum

The goal of preseason play is to prepare a team for the upcoming season, and it has frequently been said that the better the opposition, the better the team itself will become.

By that logic, Northwestern has scheduled a pretty impressive preseason schedule, highlighted by a trip to the Champion Challenge to take on the United States national team.

The strangest element of the upcoming match is that the Wildcats’ two best players, senior attacker Shannon Smith and junior defender Taylor Thornton, will put on the uniform of the opposition, as they take the field for the national team. Smith and Thornton will be joined by a plethora of former NU players, including attackers Katrina Dowd and Danielle Spencer, both of whom played with Smith during her early years. Former Cats All-Americans Lindsey Munday and Sarah Albrecht will also play for the national team. Munday is currently an assistant coach at NU while Albrecht is sixth on the Cats’ all-time list with 199 career points.

The big game between NU and the national team is scheduled to take place on January 29, 2012 at 10 a.m. Central Time. The game will take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., where the Challenge has taken place for the past six years.

The Cats are not the only elite team to make their way down to Florida this January. The Maryland women’s lacrosse team, which NU defeated 8-7 in last season’s NCAA Championship game, will also be in attendance, as will the University of Denver men’s team.

– Jonah Rosenblum