by Kevin Trahan (@k_trahan)
Northwestern lacrosse is good. Anyone who has followed NU sports even a little bit knows that. The Wildcats have perhaps the best current dynasty in college sports, having won seven of the last eight national titles. Really, good is a massive understatement.
Apparently NU is better than entire countries as well, as it knocked off Team England 11-10 in overtime on Saturday in Orlando. To put that in perspective, England placed fifth (out of 29 teams) in the 2010 World Championships, meaning the Wildcats could probably be fairly competitive if they played in the World Championships, as well. You can read the full recap of that game here.
Sunday, NU unforgivably dropped a game... 16-9 to Team USA, which is considered the best team in the world. Obviously a loss is expected, but the fact that the Wildcats lost by just seven goals to the best team in the world is fairly remarkable. Here are some college teams that NU beat by that margin or more last year: No. 5 Duke, No. 6 Stanford, No. 6 Notre Dame, No. 8 Penn, No. 9 Virginia, No. 11 Vanderbilt, No. 12 Penn State and some other unranked teams that they absolutely destroyed. Here's the recap of the game against Team USA, with this fun anecdote: Team USA started the game on a 4-0 run, with three of those goals scored by former Wildcats Shannon Smith and Sarah Albrecht.
NU's strong performances against national teams aren't a new development. Last year, the Wildcats beat Team England 9-3 and lost to Team USA 16-6. So it figures to be another solid season in Evanston for NU coach Kelly Amonte Hiller. We'll have more coverage once the regular season starts on February 8 against UMass.
If you're interested in watching replays of both exhibition games, which aired live on ESPN3, you can watch the replays Monday on ESPNU. The Team USA game airs at 1:30 p.m. central time, while the Team England game airs at 2:30.