Northwestern isn’t just back on top of the Big Ten, it’s back on top of the national lacrosse world.
On Monday, Inside Lacrosse and the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) ranked the Wildcats (15-1, 6-0 B1G) as the No. 1 team in the nation for the first time since March 2013, when Kelly Amonte Hiller’s team was coming off of its seventh national title the prior spring.
The ‘Cats overtook No. 2 Syracuse, which has held the top spot since the Monday after NU took down then-undefeated North Carolina on March 19. The Orange won their first 15 games — including a 16-15 victory over the Lake Show on Feb. 11 — but fell to then-No. 5 Boston College on Thursday in a 17-16 nailbiter.
Since losing to Syracuse, Northwestern has ripped off 15 straight victories of its own, and clinched the Big Ten regular season title with its home win over then-No. 12 Maryland on Saturday night. The ‘Cats are enjoying a bye week before they face either Penn State or Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals on May 4.
Led by four Tewaaraton Award Nominees in Izzy Scane, Erin Coykendall, Samantha White and Hailey Rhatigan, Northwestern now has a clear path to the NCAA Tournament’s top seed if it can go through its conference tournament unscathed. That hasn’t happened since 2009.