Lacrosse: Fredericks, Weisse dominate for Cats in pair of Spring Break matchups


Daily file photo by Sam Schumacher

Shelby Fredericks fights with an opposing player for the ball. The sophomore scored four goals over Northwestern’s last two games.

Dan Waldman, Assistant Sports Editor


Despite going 1-1 over Spring Break, Northwestern showed a renewed sense of urgency, taking its toughest opponent yet into overtime and rolling over another formidable opponent.

The No. 7 Wildcats (4-4) split a pair of games against then-No. 4 North Carolina (8-2, 2-0 ACC) and Colorado (7-2, 2-0 MPSF) over the break. Prior to the team’s matchup against North Carolina, NU handled then-No.10 Stony Brook in a pivotal 7-6 victory to give the Cats their second top-10 win of the season.

But the team’s momentum proved insufficient to handle the scorching hot Tar Heels. The Cats fell at home in dramatic fashion to North Carolina on March 20, tying the game with only five seconds remaining in regulation and losing in overtime on a devastating quick start goal.

NU started strong, but the Tar Heels scored 4 consecutive unanswered goals to finish the first half, giving the squad a 6-3 lead. The second half was an entirely different story.

The Cats came out of halftime firing on all cylinders, scoring 4 straight goals to give NU a 1-goal lead. However, North Carolina’s fast-paced offense flustered the Cats defense, allowing the Tar Heels to score 2 goals in just 11 seconds to regain the lead.

With the team trailing by 1 goal with only 21 seconds remaining in the game, freshman goalie Mallory Weisse launched a perfect pass right to the stick of sophomore midfielder Shelby Fredericks, who sprinted down the field. The sophomore then dished the ball to junior midfielder Catie Ingrilli, who fed cutting sophomore attacker Selena Lasota to even the score at 8.

Although Fredericks dominated draw controls for most of the game, the sophomore couldn’t continue her success in overtime.

North Carolina attacker Kelly Devlin beat Fredericks on the opening draw control of overtime and ran a flawless fast break, before being fouled. Following the foul, the Tar Heels capitalized on the restart, setting up attacker Aly Messinger for the game-winning goal.

Although the Cats did not come away with the upset win, the team saw great success in its draw controls, beating North Carolina 13-6 in the category. Along with the team’s improved performance from the draw position, Weisse had yet another stellar game, racking up nine saves en route to the freshman establishing her role as the anchor of NU’s defense.

Less than a week after the team’s heartbreaking loss, NU hosted Colorado, a team averaging more than 16 goals per game in its last three contests. But the Cats had no intention of letting the Buffaloes’ offense continue its scoring trends.

Fredericks continued her mastery at the draw position, breaking her own school record in draw controls with 10. Meanwhile, Weisse curbed Colorado’s shooters, recording nine of her 10 saves in the second half.

Weisse is averaging 7.63 saves in her first eight games and after the game against Colorado, she is fourth among all freshmen nationwide in saves per game.

Senior attacker Kaleigh Craig and Lasota led the Cats on offense, scoring a combined 5 of the team’s 11 goals. Lasota went scoreless for the first 55 minutes of the game, before scoring 3 goals in the last five minutes.

Although NU only conceded four draws to the Buffaloes, Colorado still finished with more shots than the Cats, outshooting the team 23-21. NU’s defense allowed its opponent to claw its way back into the game, making it a 7-6 game with 8:20 left in the contest. But the Cats were able to hold on.

NU continues play on Thursday against top-ranked and undefeated Maryland. The teams last played each other in the NCAA Tournament last year, when the Terrapins eliminated NU.

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