It's time to bring another trophy back to Evanston. Tonight, our Wildcats go for their seventh national title in eight years. Standing in their way is Syracuse, a No. 4 seed that upset Florida in double-OT in the semifinals to earn its first championship game appearance.
The Wildcats and Orange met very early in the season in the Carrier Dome, with Northwestern coming away with a 11-9 win after rallying from a 6-2 deficit with seven straight goals. Since that game, Syracuse has lost just once, the Big East championship final to Loyola.
NU's two losses this season, meanwhile, have been to Florida, which Syracuse has beaten twice this season, including the semifinal I just mentioned. So, feel free to work yourself into knots doing the transitive property game.
The Wildcats employed a slow-down possession-control gameplan against Maryland and its high-powered offense in the semifinal. We'll see what head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller has in store for the Orange.
Some players to watch for Syracuse: Tewaaraton Trophy finalist Michelle Tumolo with 51 goals and 43 assists, Alyssa Murray with 73 goals, and Kailah Kempney with 90 draw controls. A question for the Orange is who will start in goal. Sophomore Alyssa Constantino has started most of their games, but was pulled in the semifinal against Florida for freshman Kelsey Richardson, who made some big saves down the stretch.
Game time is 7 p.m. CT, and the game is being broadcast on ESPNU and ESPN3.com.