Lacrosse: Wildcats nearly perfect on draw controls in rout of Wolverines


Sean Su/Daily Senior Staffer

Kaleigh Craig probes around a defender. The junior scored 3 times to help Northwestern reach its highest goal total of the season.

Ava Wallace, Reporter


It took fewer than 10 minutes for Northwestern to run away with the ball at The Big House.

The No. 6 Wildcats (7-3, 1-1 Big Ten) pulled no punches Thursday against a young Michigan (5-6, 0-2) program with a resounding 17-8 win for the team’s first conference victory of the season.

NU was almost perfect on the circle. Freshman Shelby Fredericks and sophomore Sheila Nesselbush took most of the draws and, unlike against Maryland, this time the Cats won 23 of 27. Fredericks notched a season-high nine draw controls.

As a result, by the time the game clock struck 19 minutes, freshman Selena Lasota had scored her third goal and junior Kaleigh Craig had her second against Michigan goalie Allison Silber. Craig and senior Kara Mupo — who had 4 goals — joined Lasota with hat tricks of their own, and the freshman ended the night leading the team with a career-high-tying 6 goals.

Lasota also recorded a season-high 7 points thanks to an assist to Mupo at the end of the first half.

NU bombarded Silber with 32 shots, and it seemed as though the Cats couldn’t miss. Lasota scored in her signature, split-second fashion from the eight-meter and directly in front of Silber just the same.

In the first half, NU went five-of-six on free position shots.

Michigan, on the other hand, barely saw the ball. The Wolverines, whose second-year program features a roster of exclusively freshmen and sophomores, had just two possessions in the first seven minutes, both of which were botched with turnovers. Midfielder Kim Coughlan was the Wolverine’s only repeat scorer with four goals.

A rainy night in Ann Arbor contributed to a particularly high number of turnovers for both teams. Michigan had 22 and NU had 21, but Michigan made more errors in its own defensive territory, which proved to make all the difference.

But it was ultimately a defensive breakdown on Michigan’s part — despite running a set with a built-in double team — that let the likes of Lasota and Craig slip through time after time and helped the Cats close the first half with a 5-0 run that sealed the win.

Coach Kelly Amonte Hiller was pleased to be able to show off some depth in a conference matchup.

Freshmen Hayley Ciklin and Iona Dryden scored their first career goals and junior Nancy Dunbar scored her first of the season as well.

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