It's lax time, everybody! Northwestern's women's lacrosse postseason play is here, and Herman isn't writing about this one, so please enjoy my heavily informed analysis, mainly based on lies.
The Wildcats begin their quest for an eighth national championship in nine seasons in Baltimore Friday night, as they take on Penn State, the No. 8 team in the country, who advanced to the semifinals by beating bottom-seeded Vanderbilt 16-14. A lil close for comfort, considering they were bottom-seeded, but as you'll see in my words, they're still good. A win for Northwestern would give an opportunity to avenge a loss Florida in the finals, a loss would be somewhat disconcerting.
The game's at 5:30 p.m., and you can watch it streaming on Johns Hopkins' - Johns' Hopkin? Johnses Hopkinses'? - official website. I'll TOTALLY be watching instead of biting my nails into jagged little shards over the Knicks-Celtics game at the same time.
On an arbitrary scale that doesn't range from 1-10, how worried should Northwestern be?
Penn State, is, after all, the No. 8 team in the country, No. 12 per LaxPower's computer ratings. They've beaten Florida, the team that famously beat Northwestern 22-4. Sophomore Maggie McCormack made the Tewaarton Award watch list, and the team had five players on the all-ALC teams, just like Northwestern.
But Northwestern's one matchup of the year was a dominant 11-3 win, with Erin Fitzgerald outscoring Penn State singlehandedly 4-3 and amazing defense holding Penn State to less shots - 10 - than Northwestern had goals. It was Penn State's only ALC loss of the year, as the two teams tied Florida for a regular season title.
It seems a lot of Penn State's success is based on whether or not they're at home: they're 7-0 in Happy Valley, including the win against Florida, but just 5-5 in away and neutral site games, with losses to mid-tier teams like Princeton, Loyola, and Cornell.
Is there bad blood here?
Not more than other teams Northwestern beats up on. Penn State won four of their first five matchups against Northwestern in the 80's, the Wildcats have won 14 in a row against the Nittany Lions.
Five blatant lies about Penn State women's lacrosse
- Head coach Missy "Misdemeanor" Doherty is married to Harvard basketball player Steve Moundou-Missi, making her name "Missy Moundou-Missi".
- Doherty was a teammate of Kelly Amonte Hiller's at Maryland, where they became lifelong enemies over Doherty's preference for Mikes and Hiller's for Ikes, which in all honesty should have just made them great sharers.
- The ALC Tournament is a homecoming for Penn State leading scorer Maggie McCormack, who you may remember from her brilliant role as Wee-Bey Brice in the critically acclaimed television show "The Wire".
- The star for Penn State is 6'1 attacker Matilda MaGlynn, an unknown prospect walked onto the team as a senior this past year because she was "bored," dazzling opponents with her field vision and brilliant shoulder length red hair.
- Every year, Doherty tries to recruit random girls named "Brittany Lyons" to play women's lacrosse for them, but with consistent failure. Her recent misses include Miss Jamaica 2008 and this Quinnipiac hockey player.
HEAVILY INFORMED prediction
Northwestern 34, Penn State 6. Unable to play the fictional McGlynn due to his/her tryout with the Washington Redskins, the Nittany Lions flounder.. Doherty openly drowns her sorrow on the sideline in "Mike-and-Mike's," which is Mike's hard and the Mikes from Mike and Ikes serving the role of jolly ranchers in purple drank.