Lacrosse: Stroup, Fredericks put Wildcats back on track after Ohio State trouncing


Daily file photo by Dan Waldman

Danita Stroup looks for a cutter. The senior scored 6 goals against Ohio State on Thursday.

Dan Waldman, Assistant Sports Editor


It only took Northwestern 35 seconds to go on top Thursday, as the Wildcats dominated Ohio State on the road to stay perfect in conference play.

No. 16 NU (7-6, 3-0 Big Ten) showed no restraint in Columbus, outplaying the Buckeyes (6-9, 0-4 Big Ten) throughout and never conceding the lead in its 15-8 trouncing. Following a string of four games decided by 4 goals or fewer, NU needed a dominant win against Ohio State to put the team back on track.

Senior attacker Danita Stroup tallied 6 goals in the contest, providing a spark in the offense that the Cats lacked in their loss last week to No. 11 Penn. Stroup and junior attacker Shelby Fredericks scored a combined 9 goals, and forced the defense to adjust, opening up other players to score.

NU received scoring contributions from six different players in Thursday’s game, as coach Kelly Amonte Hiller has continued to emphasize the importance of everyone being able to finish on offense.

Amonte Hiller said with junior midfielder Selena Lasota still sidelined with a lower-body injury, getting goals from multiple players is critical for the team.

“Our last game we didn’t have many people step up, and it’s hard to win when you only have a few people step up in the scoring,” Amonte Hiller said. “We have to have all the kids step up and make plays.”

The Cats started the game strong with Fredericks netting a goal less than a minute into the game. Stroup followed suit just 33 seconds later, slotting home a shot to put the team up 2-0. The team went into halftime with a sound 6-2 lead, but the players didn’t want to leave room for a comeback.

Stroup, who recorded a hat trick before the end of the first half, added 3 more goals in the second half. The senior said she was tired of close games and wanted to make sure the game didn’t come down to the wire.

“This gives us a lot of confidence moving forward because the next four games are our biggest games,” Stroup said. “This game is in the past, and it’s a big boost for us going forward.”

The Cats’ 15 goals is the most the team has scored since March 11, when NU scored 18 against Marquette. The squad has been without its star-scorer Lasota for nearly two months, but the team’s duo of Fredericks and Stroup have started to form their own chemistry in the midfielder’s absence.

Stroup and Fredericks combined for 12 points in the win. Fredericks said the duo’s chemistry has improved each game and will continue to develop as the season goes on.

“Without Selena playing — she really had the ball in her stick a bunch — we really had to adjust a bit,” Fredericks said. “But now we’re really trying to emphasize that we gotta attack as a unit and as seven players … We struggled with that in the beginning of the season and it’s been a bumpy road, but tonight was a turning point for us because we really found that rhythm.”

Going forward the road doesn’t get much easier for NU. The Cats host No. 5 Penn State next week, setting up a rematch of last year’s Big Ten semifinal game, which NU snagged from the Nittany Lions.

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