If you like offense and scoring, Northwestern women’s lacrosse put on a performance for the ages Friday. Facing Richmond in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, The NU offense was red-hot in a 24-18 victory over the Spiders, in a game that set an NCAA Tournament record for total goals, breaking a record that was set just hours earlier in another NCAA Tournament game.
Northwestern will play Towson in the second round at 11:00 a.m. Sunday.
Selena Lasota starred for the Wildcats, as she usually does. This time, however, she took her play to a new level. Lasota poured in nine — yes, you read that right, nine — goals on the day, setting the NCAA Tournament single-game record and tying the Northwestern single-game record. She also added two assists for good measure. She had already earned a hat trick within the first four minutes of the game.
Notably, senior Sheila Nesselbush also set a career-high with six goals.
Northwestern came out firing from the start, building a lead of 3-0 in the opening minutes and a 7-3 lead later in the first half. Richmond cut the lead to 9-8 in the opening half, before Northwestern went on an important 6-0 run before halftime to take a commanding 15-8 lead at the break.
The Spiders had another run in them, but it wasn’t enough. The A-10 champs cut the lead to three at 17-14, but the Wildcats responded with two goals of their own, which would be enough for them to cross the finish line ahead.
There were pregame questions about who would start in goal, but redshirt-freshman Julie Krupnick got the nod, saving seven shots in the game.
Head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller improved to 15-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but will face a tougher test when her team squares off with seventh-seeded Towson in the next round.