Lacrosse: Northwestern to play Ohio State in final regular season game

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Lacrosse: Northwestern to play Ohio State in final regular season game

Mallory Weisse makes a save. The senior goalkeeper has been a steady presence in the net for the Wildcats in their recent wins.

Mallory Weisse makes a save. The senior goalkeeper has been a steady presence in the net for the Wildcats in their recent wins.

Daily file photo by Evan Robinson-Johnson

Mallory Weisse makes a save. The senior goalkeeper has been a steady presence in the net for the Wildcats in their recent wins.

Daily file photo by Evan Robinson-Johnson

Daily file photo by Evan Robinson-Johnson

Mallory Weisse makes a save. The senior goalkeeper has been a steady presence in the net for the Wildcats in their recent wins.

Karim Noorani, Reporter

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The road to the postseason for No. 5 Northwestern this season has not come without its ups and downs.

The Wildcats (11-4, 4-1 Big Ten) have had an explosive offense this season, averaging a nation-best 18 goals per game. The Cats’ scoring decimated opponents early on in the season. Using the energy playing at Ryan Fieldhouse, NU avalanched adversaries at home and got out to a roaring 3-0 start.

After that, NU struggled to find its footing in out-of-conference play. From the end of February to early April, the Cats lost four out of their five matchups against top-10 opponents, including a 21-11 drubbing at the hands of familiar foe North Carolina.

Last Saturday, NU finally found redemption. Judging by their track record this season, the Cats were not supposed to beat No. 6 Notre Dame. NU was on the road, in the back half of a quick stretch of two games in three days and on Fighting Irish turf for their Senior Day. Yet, they still pulled out the win, a testament to how hard the Cats have worked to improve throughout the season.

“Every single day we all fight really hard in practice. We signed up to come to Northwestern to be at a top Division I institution,” senior goalkeeper Mallory Weisse said. “Every day is a battle, and that’s how it should be, and it’s really fun bringing that competition.”

Coach Kelly Amonte Hiller has been continually finding ways to maximize her team’s talent. Amonte Hiller experimented with Weisse as starting goalkeeper midseason and that adjustment has paid dividends with back-to-back strong defensive performances.

Amonte Hiller also said the team is trying to find ways to better incorporate freshman midfielder Izzy Scane, who currently holds of one the best shot percentages in the country, in its offense.

“As (Scane) develops in our offense, we’re finding looks for her and creating opportunities for her,” Amonte Hiller said. “As a freshman playing with a veteran offense, we are definitely aware we can create some opportunities for her as well, and she can clearly finish pretty well.”

The Cats go on the road to face Ohio State (9-7, 1-4) on Thursday afternoon in their regular season finale. The Buckeyes are coming into game having lost three of their last four contests.

Junior midfielder Lindsey McKone will be playing Thursday with a heavy heart. McKone, along with three other NU players, attended St. John’s school in Texas, where varsity lacrosse coach Angela Kensinger recently died in a plane crash.

McKone credited her development and Tewaaraton watch list nomination to her former high school coach.

“(Kensinger) not only taught us how to be good lacrosse players but be the best teammates we can be,” McKone said. “There’s no one in the world I can give more credit to for how I am today than her.”

Email: karimnoorani2022@u.northwestern.edu

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