Lacrosse: Wildcats win twice in high-scoring affairs

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Lacrosse: Wildcats win twice in high-scoring affairs

Emily Stein operates in the midfield. She helped lead Northwestern to its comeback victory Sunday.

Emily Stein operates in the midfield. She helped lead Northwestern to its comeback victory Sunday.

Daily file photo by Alec Carroll

Emily Stein operates in the midfield. She helped lead Northwestern to its comeback victory Sunday.

Daily file photo by Alec Carroll

Daily file photo by Alec Carroll

Emily Stein operates in the midfield. She helped lead Northwestern to its comeback victory Sunday.

Karim Noorani, Reporter

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Exactly 364 days later, Northwestern (3-0) avenged its failed comeback against Duke (2-1).

Hope seemed lost for the No. 6 Wildcats many times during Sunday’s 21-20 win over the No. 16 Blue Devils. NU fell down by five goals before rallying back to take the lead in the opening minutes of the second half.

The rest of the game was a nip-and-tuck contest heavily influenced by 50-50 plays. A couple draw controls, ground balls and saves meant the difference between a one-goal margin lead and a deficit for either team in the game’s last 25 minutes. The lead changed hands 7 times in last 30 minutes.

“It was a battle. It was a real battle,” coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said. “I was just proud of our girls creating 50-50 balls.”

The Cats found themselves in an eerily similar situation to last year’s matchup, being down one goal with less than two minutes to play. With “Blue Devil” chants ringing throughout the stadium, NU brought one final push that propelled the team to victory.

Senior attacker Liza Elder converted a free-position shot to tie the game before junior midfielder Lindsey McKone netted the game-winning goal with 25 seconds to go.

“I looked up and didn’t see anyone in front of me, so I figured I could take it and try to get it into the goal,” McKone said. “That was pretty cool to end on.”

Free-position shots were a major factor in determining the result. The Blue Devils converted just one of their six free-position attempts, while the Cats came away with a staggering 8-for-12 statline from that area, including two key goals that came within the game’s final four minutes.

Including Friday’s home win against Dartmouth (0-2), NU won two high-scoring matchups this weekend despite not having senior attacker Selena Lasota for the majority of the games.

The Cats beat the Big Green on Friday in Ryan Fieldhouse 21-15, led by McKone’s seven points. The wins were impressive considering NU was missing its best player, Selena Lasota.

Lasota suffered a lower body injury during the first half of Friday’s game. Amonte Hiller said Lasota’s injury, though damaging to the team, gave other NU players an opportunity to shine this weekend.

“Any time you lose your best player, you’re losing some emotional juice and obviously some scoring punch,” Amonte Hiller said. “It’s a great opportunity for other kids to step up, and I think they did.”

Email: karimnoorani2022@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @23Karimn

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