Lacrosse: Northwestern drops its third straight, falls to 1-3


Daily file photo by Sean Su

Kaleigh Craig prepares herself in a break of play. The senior midfielder scored 7 goals in the first three games of the season, but was held without a goal against Louisville on Thursday.

Benjy Apelbaum, Reporter


Northwestern suffered its worst loss of the season against another highly-ranked team in Louisville on Thursday afternoon.

The No. 10 Wildcats (1-3) lost their third straight game to the undefeated No. 11 Cardinals (6-0), 10-4. NU was unable to get its offense going after a quick start and was held to its lowest scoring output of the season.

The game got off to an odd start when the Cats were awarded the ball at the beginning of the game because Louisville’s coaches were late to a pregame meeting.

On the field, the Cats started strong and jumped out to a 2-1 lead off two free position shots from junior midfielder Sheila Nesselbush and sophomore attacking midfielder Shelby Fredericks. However, after Fredericks’ goal 5 minutes into the game, NU did not score for over 30 minutes while Louisville scored 4 straight goals.

The offensive struggles can be attributed both to the Cats getting outshot 29-24, but also the stellar goalkeeping by Louisville goalie Brittany Read. Read recorded a career-high 13 saves on the day and continued her team’s streak of not allowing any more than 6 goals in any of their six games thus far.

An area where NU continued to struggle was in the draw circle. The Cats went into the game having lost draws 30-41 on the season and lost 9-of-15 competitive draws against Louisville.

Lost draws led to two quick 2-0 Louisville runs in the second half, which put the game out of reach for NU.

After Fredericks’ second goal cut Louisville’s lead to 5-3, two Cardinals goals in a 22-second span gave Louisville a commanding 7-3 lead.

When Nesselbush scored her second goal of the game off of her own rebound to make the score 7-4, Louisville went its second 2-goal run, as midfielders Julia Wood and Cortnee Daley each notched their 3rd goals of the game in the span of 14 seconds. After another Louisville goal, neither team scored for the last 12 minutes of the game.

The Cats have tested themselves so far this year, only playing top-11 opponents in their first four games of the year.
Although they have dropped their last three, none of the prior games had been decided by more than 4 goals.

Up next for the Cats is their first matchup with an unranked team, as they go against Marquette on Tuesday. The game will be NU’s home-opener and its first-ever game in the brand new Martin Stadium.

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