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Lacrosse: ‘Cats extend win streak to nine and jump to No. 2 in the polls

With one more game before the postseason, Northwestern receives its highest ranking yet.

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After dominating No. 15 Rutgers in Ryan Fieldhouse, Northwestern Lacrosse took the field outdoors at Martin Stadium on campus for its final two home games this past week.

The ‘Cats welcomed non-conference opponent San Diego State last Sunday and put on an offensive show. Eleven different Wildcats recorded goals, including the first goal of the season for junior Kiera Shanley and first collegiate goal for freshman Emerson Bohlig.

Three-time B1G Freshman of the Week Samantha White scored twice and recorded four draw controls, taking over the circle for graduate student Jill Girardi in the final quarter. Girardi had eight draws of her own along with four goals.

Graduate student Lauren Gilbert notched four goals, leading the ‘Cats to a 20-8 win over the Aztecs.

On Sunday, the Lakeshow hosted senior day at Martin Stadium for its five seniors and four graduate students. It goes without saying that each of these spectacular student-athletes have made invaluable contributions to the program, and hopefully we will see some of the seniors return in the fall for a fifth year.

Senior day marked their final home game of the regular season, and they finished it out undefeated in Evanston. The ‘Cats faced conference foe then-No. 25 Johns Hopkins who was able to match NU’s offense in the first half. The Blue Jay defense lead its team into the locker room at half down just one to Kelly Amonte and company, 7-6.

However, as we have seen from this team all season, when Northwestern’s offense is sparked, it becomes nearly impossible to stop. The ‘Cats went on an 8-2 run out of the break to bring the score to 15-8 going into the fourth quarter. Gilbert led the ‘Cats in scoring with six goals and an assist, and both junior Erin Coykendall and Girardi had three goals apiece.

Once again, Girardi dominated in the circle, tallying 15 draw controls to Johns Hopkins’ eight. First-year White impressed once again, notching six draw controls and a goal.

Able to remain perfect at home, Northwestern capped off its regular season home slate with a 19-12 win over a strong Hopkins team. After then-No. 2 Boston College fell to then-No. 7 Duke, Northwestern took over the No. 2 spot in this week’s Inside Lacrosse poll, the team’s highest ranking of the season.

The final contest of the regular season is one that has been looming throughout conference play: the ‘Cats will travel to College Park, Md., to face conference rivals, the Maryland Terrapins. Slotted at No. 8 in the country, Maryland is the only other team in the B1G that is still undefeated in conference play besides Northwestern. This means that the regular season conference crown is at stake, which will also be crucial for seeding in both the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments.

Northwestern will take the draw in College Park this Saturday, April 23rd, at 10:30 AM CT.