Lacrosse: Northwestern receives No. 5 seed in NCAA Tournament, will host second-round game Sunday

Ava Wallace, Web Editor

Just hours after Northwestern lost the ALC Championship title to rival Florida, the Wildcats received the fifth seed in the NCAA Tournament, one slot behind the Gators.

NU’s seed means the Cats have a first round bye and await the winner of Louisville and Ohio State. NU will host the second-round game at Lakeside Field on Sunday, more than a week after the Cats bested the Buckeyes 9-8 in the semifinal round of the ALC Tournament. Maryland, Syracuse and North Carolina are the top three seeds.

Should the Cats top the Cardinals or Buckeyes, they will likely play their quarterfinal matchup on the road for the first time since 2004. If both teams win their second-round games, the Gators would host the Cats in the quarterfinals as the higher seed. If the winner of the first-round game between Denver and Jacksonville goes on to upset the Gators, NU would host in the quarterfinals with a spot in the Final Four on the line.

NU has played at home since April 10, and though it has been a decade, coach Kelly Amonte Hiller knows how difficult a road game is in the NCAA Tournament.

“It’s a lot tougher,” Amonte Hiller said after Sunday’s game. “We’ve enjoyed that advantage for the last I don’t know how many years, but this team is definitely capable of doing what they want to do. They just have to keep it together for 60 minutes, not just 30.”

Florida defeated NU twice this season, both times by a single goal. The potential duel would be the two teams’ first meeting of the season in Gainesville, Florida.

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