In two minutes and 31 seconds, Northwestern lacrosse went from dire to on fire. After going down 5-3 to Louisville in a sluggish first half, Northwestern’s four unanswered goals in the first 2:31 of the second half provided the spark the Wildcats (5-5) needed to defeat Louisville 12-8 on Sunday.
Louisville (9-4) looked to be in business after Ashley Lynch scored the opening goal and two goals from Hannah Koloski put the Cardinals up 3-2. Claire Quinn answered with a goal at the 4:58 mark to make it 3-3, but poor Northwestern defense allowed Louisville to quickly score two goals in the final four minutes. No. 14 Northwestern entered halftime surprisingly down 5-3 to the unranked Cardinals.
But then, Northwestern suddenly found its offensive firepower. Before you could even formulate an ill-informed hot take and post it on Twitter, Northwestern had scored four goals in 2:31. Ingrilli, Elder, Esposito and Stroup all found the net as Louisville had no answers. Yet Louisville cut the score to 7-6 off another Koloski goal one minute later, keeping the Cardinals in the contest.
Both teams went over 10 minutes without scoring as both goalkeepers held firm. Louisville broke the deadlock first behind Koloski’s fourth goal of the game, which tied it at 7-7 with 15 minutes left. Koloski then set up Ashley Lynch to put Louisville up 8-7, but Claire Quinn scored a fantastic unassisted goal just 28 seconds later to make it 8-8.
Once again, Louisville was completely overwhelmed by a flurry of Northwestern offense. 80 seconds later, Shelby Fredericks gave Northwestern the lead. Northwestern picked up goals from Ingrilli and Nesselbush to make it 11-8 and finish off the contest with four goals in about five minutes. Koloski and the Cardinals were held scoreless and eventually lost 12-8 after a Stroup insurance goal with 1:29 to go.
Northwestern’s comeback win moves it back to .500 for the season. The Wildcats next host Johns Hopkins on March 30 in Evanston.