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Spring wrap: Smith wins Tewaaraton, men's golf at NCAAs

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Shannon Smith won the Tewaaraton Award last night, so this seems as good a time as any to get caught up on various non-football/basketball news from the past week.

Top billing goes to Smith, though, who undoubtedly deserved lacrosse's Heisman, as she practically willed the Wildcats to the national championship. She scored the game-winning goal in the semifinals against North Carolina with 18 seconds left, then got the game-winner in the title match against Maryland (highlights above, from northwesternhighlights.com). Of the NU-record 86 goals she scored this year, an amazing 28 of them (32.6% for you non-math majors out there) came in the Wildcats' last six games. Talk about peaking at the right time. 

Let's quickly scan the rest of her resume. NCAA-leading scorer at 5.88 points per game. Scored the second most goals during a single NCAA tournament (18).  NCAA tournament MVP. Three-time WomensLacrosse.com Offensive Player of the Week. MVP of the American Lacrosse Championship tournament. First-team All-American.

She was the Wildcats’ leading scorer by far, with her 128 points almost three times that of second-leading scorer Erin Fitzgerald, who had 47. Smith is only a junior, too, so we’ll have her for another year. Congrats to Smith and the rest of the Wildcats, three of whom also earned All-American honors and deserve a shout-out: sophomore defender Taylor Thornton on the first team, and senior defender Colleen Magarity and junior midfielder Alex Frank on the third team.

Meanwhile, the men’s golf team finished 22nd at the NCAA championships this week in Oklahoma, a good result considering NU came in ranked 44nd. It’s also an improvement from the last time NU made the NCAA finals field in 2009, when NU placed 29thOver the tournament’s three rounds, the Wildcats shot a collective 42-over-par. Senior David Lipisky and junior Eric Chun tied for 38th individually, shooting 7-over.

In women's tennis, Maria Moslova made it to the quarterfinals of the NCAA individual singles tournament, while on the doubles side, the Wildcat team of sophomore Linda Abu Mushrefova and freshman Nida Hamilton also got as far as the quarters

In other miscellany, the softball team’s Robin Thompson made the Chicago Bandits of National Professional Fastpitch after an open tryout. The speedy third baseman will join Wildcat great Tammy Williams on the roster.

This is a bit old, but if you hadn’t heard yet, Amy Jaeschke was waived by the Chicago Sky of the WNBA. Head coach Pokey Chatman explained the decision saying, "Our needs were greater in other areas." Which seems to me like poor planning, when the Sky selected not one, but two centers in the draft and then a few days later went out and traded for another center. At any rate, best of luck to Jaeschke. Maybe she can latch on to another WNBA squad if a roster slot opens up later, or hopefully she can find playing opportunities overseas in the fall.

And lastly, there was kickball.