Lacrosse: Wildcats rout Buckeyes 16-6 to finish regular season

Claire Hansen, Reporter


In the last game of the regular season, No. 9 Northwestern (11-5, 3-2 Big Ten) honored its seniors in a 16-6 rout of No. 20 Ohio State (11-6, 2-3) at home Sunday.

The win, sandwiched between a tough loss against Penn State last week and the impending Big Ten Tournament, will be key in establishing momentum for the Wildcats as they head into the post-season.

“What we showed today is the benefit of what we’ve gone through,” coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said. “It was a good step forward but it wasn’t perfect. Hopefully it’s a momentum builder.”

Freshman standout Selena Lasota put the Cats on the board first with a clean dodge around the left side of the crease, only to have OSU fire back less than 45 seconds later.

But from there, it was all NU. The Cats went on a 6-1 run over the rest of the half, slowly and methodically wearing down the OSU defense and capitalizing on one-on-ones.

Freshman Corinne Wessels notched two assists and a goal during the first half run, while sophomore Sheila Nesselbush tallied a pair of goals and one assist.

The Nesselbush sisters emerged as the playmakers of the first half as freshman Shannon Nesselbush played particularly aggressive defense in front of the NU goal.

At the half, the Cats led the Buckeyes 7-2 and led in almost every team statistic recorded.

OSU seemed to come out in the second half with a newfound fire, scoring just 49 seconds into the period, but NU quickly recovered. The Cats went on an 8-0 run over 16 minutes, absolutely dominating in every sector of play.

The run included an incredible diving shot by Lasota and a particularly tricky goal by Mupo off an 8-meter, where she threw a fake against the OSU goal and side armed a low, bouncing shot.

NU was able to maintain composure despite an increasingly aggressive and frustrated OSU defense. Four yellow cards against the Buckeyes in the second half resulted in the permanent removal of two OSU players from the game.

Play got chippy on both sides, with NU earning a yellow card late in the half.

In the last four minutes, the Cats allowed 3 Buckeye goals while only earning 1 goal themselves, but nonetheless clenched a decisive 16-6 victory.

“We were all out there and everyone did their part,” senior goalkeeper Bridget Bianco said. “You know, some seniors don’t start and don’t play, and because we all did our part, they were able to get out there and I think that’s what I’ll remember.”

Individually, the Cats shined. Lasota, who was just nominated for the Tewaaraton Award, tallied 2 goals and an assist. Wessels had a standout game with a pair of goals and three assists, and both Mupo and Sheila Nesselbush recorded a hat trick. In goal, Bianco had 10 saves.

Despite the win, Mupo says that the Cats are nowhere near done.

“This was good momentum moving forward to the Big Ten Tournament, but we want to get there and make a statement, so we have a lot of hard work to do,” she said.

Hiller hopes her team is up to the challenge.

“I think that our team is ready for this moment,” she said.

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