Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Lacrosse: No. 1 Northwestern’s Lindsey Frank ‘cherishing every moment’ ahead of national title game

Henry Frieman/The Daily Northwestern
Graduate student midfielder Lindsey Frank looks to bury a shot against Florida in Friday’s Final Four victory. Frank has scored seven goals in her past two games.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Ahead of No. 1 Northwestern’s national title matchup with No. 2 Boston College, graduate student midfielder Lindsey Frank went through her final practice of a five-year, two-sport and two-school collegiate journey inside UNC’s Bill Koeman Practice Facility Saturday.

“This has been my dream since I was a little kid,” Frank said. “I would be at home watching these games on TV, thinking ‘I want to be there so bad.’ Now I am, and it’s just surreal.”

Just steps away, Frank’s Richmond chapter reached its conclusion last May in a 16-12 2023 NCAA women’s lacrosse tournament loss to the Tar Heels at Dorrance Field. Less than 200 days later, her college field hockey career culminated in a national title game shootout-loss to the championship host UNC.

Now, with the Wildcats securing their Championship Sunday spot, Frank will wrap up a third chapter set in North Carolina. Scoring seven goals in her past two games, the Saratoga Springs, New York, native said she’s “incredibly grateful” for her NU opportunity.

“If you told my high school self — or my pre-COVID self — this, I would laugh in your face that I would be playing in a national championship tomorrow,” Frank said. “Overall, (I’m) just enjoying the experience and soaking it all in. Last day of lacrosse, feeling really grateful and thankful.”

Frank’s trek to Evanston began on Lakeside Field in September 2022, when she and the Spiders’ field hockey squad took on coach Tracey Fuchs’ group in a nonconference game. Fuchs took notice of Frank’s ability and emailed her once she came across her name in the transfer portal.

Soon, coach Kelly Amonte Hiller and assistant coach Scott Hiller followed up. Hiller, the team’s offensive guru, jumped at the chance to sign a midfielder fresh off a 90-point season.

“He was like, ‘We’re on board. You’re not just a field hockey recruit, we’d like you, too,’” Frank said. “It was like a dream come true.”

While her lacrosse teammates took part in fall ball, Frank launched her first national championship pursuit in her new purple and white field hockey digs. Making 19 starts, including the final 11 games of the season, Frank recorded a goal and two assists during the fall.

The ’Cats came mere inches away from immortality, but were denied at the death on Carolina Field Hockey Field. Two weeks later, Frank exchanged her field hockey equipment for a lacrosse stick, hitting the ground running with her new teammates.

Although Frank mostly gears her summer preparation toward field hockey, Aidan Howley — her longtime trainer at 518Athlete — said she’s a different caliber of athlete and character capable of a seamless adaptation at a swift transition.

“She’s a unicorn,” Howley said. “The first time you watch her move with a stick, Lindsey has always been so deceptive … She’s a super humble girl, so I just knew she would end up being as successful as she wanted to be.”

With a push toward sport specialization in many corners of high caliber athletics, Frank said she was fortunate she never had to choose between her two favorite sports. A regional standout since her middle school days, Frank captured her eventual high school lacrosse coach Elaine Anton-Lotruglio’s marvel as just a seventh-grader.

Two years later, Frank started every game as a freshman on Anton-Lotruglio’s varsity lacrosse squad. The coach approached Peter Sheehan, Saratoga Springs High School’s then-athletic director who served in his post for more than a decade, to express how special a talent traversed their home turf.

“I said, ‘She is going to be probably the best athlete to come out of this school,’” Anton-Lotruglio said. “He had been there a long time and was a bit skeptical, but I’m glad I was right.”

After four seasons at Richmond where she served as a primary scoring option, Frank possessed just more than a month to mesh with a new group of dynamic national superstars ahead of the defending champions’ Feb. 10 season opener. 

She said she learned vital lessons in teamwork during her career with the Spiders, which helped her adapt to Amonte Hiller’s system. Frank has started all 20 games for NU, tallying 30 goals and seven assists. Her 37 points are good for fifth on the team. 

For Amonte Hiller, a key component of Frank’s appeal is her steady improvement as seasons run on. She said she saw Frank do it from afar at Richmond, and she’s doing so once more during the ’Cats’ national title push.

“It is a bit of a challenge to come in mid-year and find your niche,” Amonte Hiller said. “With each game that’s gone by, she’s getting better and better… like fine wine.”

Six months separated from her first championship shot, the graduate transfer said it’s especially difficult to put her whirlwind collegiate journey into perspective, but she’s “cherishing every moment” in its finality.

From Saratoga Springs to Richmond, Evanston to Cary and every step in between, Frank has crafted a rarified dual-sport chronicle in Division I athletics. Sunday, she’ll have a shot at tying a pristine bow before the clock runs out on the fabled class of departing Wildcats.

“You know what you’re walking into, you know the pressures and everything,” Frank said. “You just come in with no expectations and play the game you love.”

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