Junior Lauren Gilbert led the attack with six goals and one assist, sophomore goalkeeper Madison Doucette anchored the defense with eight saves, and #6 Northwestern lacrosse (4-2) bounced back from multiple early deficits to take down #24 Stanford (2-3) 25-18.
The Wildcats came out with a bang, establishing a quick 2-0 lead behind free-position goals from Liza Elder and Taylor Pinzone. The two went on to combine for five goals total despite not scoring again during the first half.
Stanford, though, responded emphatically to Northwestern’s hot start, going on a seven-goal run before a score from Lindsey McKone finally came to stop it. Tewaaraton Watch List member Ali Baiocco kicked off the scoring for Stanford, netting the first two of her eventual six goals within a minute of each other. Katherine Gjertsen, Jay Browne, Jacie Lemos and Mikaela Watson each added scores to the run as well.
Sophomore Izzy Scane and Gilbert gave Northwestern’s offense the fire it needed to come back — the two added a combined five straight goals for the ‘Cats to bring the score to 10-8. Then, to close the first half, after senior Megan Kinna’s goal cut the lead to one with ten seconds remaining, Gilbert somehow snuck through another before the final buzzer sounded.
With the deficit closed, Northwestern had all the momentum to begin the second half. But in a complete reversal of the way that the game started, it was Stanford who began the frame with two scores in the first 90 seconds. Unfazed, the Wildcats fired off a 7-0 run during which Scane and McKone each tallied two more goals.
Finally, the Cardinal could not muster a significant enough response. Baiocco assisted on a goal before scoring one of her own three minutes later, but Elder and Gilbert responded with back-to-back goals in woman-up situations after Stanford was yellow-carded for the fourth time (making the penalty non-releasable), first-year phenom Jane Hansen responded with two more after that, and the Wildcats extended the lead to ten, putting the game away for good with their second 7-0 spurt of the half.
Izzy Scane and Lindsey McKone each finished with six points for NU, with the former recording five goals and the latter four in the offensive explosion.
Northwestern will get a week-long break before they take on unanimous #1 North Carolina next Monday night in Ryan Fieldhouse.