The Albany Great Danes proved to be no match for Northwestern as the Wildcats advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament with an emphatic 15-7 win. Danita Stroup led the team with six goals as Northwestern’s win was never really in doubt.
Northwestern (11-9) scored on its first possession courtesy of Stroup and were immediately off to the races. The Albany (12-6) defense was utterly hapless to start the game as the Wildcats poured in four goals before the first ten minutes were up. The third goal came from defender Claire Quinn, who had been switched to attack by head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller despite having only 3 career goals.
“We’ve been just noticing how well she dodges, she’s a real threat,” Hiller said after the game in an interview on NUSports.com.
Quinn and Stroup shouldered much of the offensive burden as Northwestern built up a 7-1 lead after just 20 minutes. Quinn had a hat trick before the first half was over, scoring two free position shots and looking completely comfortable on offense. Sarah Martin pulled one back for Albany, but Nicole Beardsley immediately answered for her 17th goal of the season, and Northwestern would end the first half up 8-3.
Northwestern started the second half in the same way she started the first. Stroup scored early and then Quinn scored for the fourth time to make it 10-3. The rest of the game was essentially the Danita Stroup Show, as the senior scored three goals in the span of two minutes and 40 seconds. The outcome of the game was a foregone conclusion at this point, and Northwestern would eventually win 15-7.
Northwestern will next game is against No. 8 Stony Brook on Sunday at 11 a.m. CST.