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Update on Northwestern lacrosse newcomers

A preview of what’s to come.

Andy Mead/YCJ

Since 2004, Northwestern lacrosse has not missed a single NCAA Tournament. The program is a continuous revolving door of talent and that’s why the 2024 season will be no different; the Wildcats expect to hoist the trophy at the end of the year. Reigning Tewaaraton winner Izzy Scane will be returning, but Kelley Amonte Hiller welcomes some new ‘Cats who can make a name for themselves.

The Transfer Portal

Without their graduate transfers, the 2023 Wildcats are not the dominant, near-perfect team they came to be. Molly Laliberty came from Tufts to anchor the defense in the goal, where she adjusted seamlessly to Division I lacrosse and made game-winning saves. Building upon her 93-goal senior season at Mercer, Hailey Rhatigan was absolutely lethal for the ‘Cats. She had the second most goals on the team with 62, and that came with missing the season’s first four games.

This year, Northwestern field hockey and lacrosse welcomes Richmond grad transfer Lindsey Frank. Yes, you read that right. Frank is a two-sport athlete for two teams both capable of winning championships.

For Richmond lacrosse, Frank has led her lacrosse team in goals for the past three years, and for field hockey, she has been the team’s goals leader for the last two seasons.

Clearly an offensive threat in any sport, the midfielder totaled 67 goals and 90 points. She has the potential to be a threatening shooter and contribute to Northwestern’s reputation as an offensive powerhouse. She also can be an asset on the circle, gathering 74 draw controls last season.

There are still a few players in the portal who have yet to announce a destination, including Shannon Urey who scored a quiet 83 goals last season. Considering how much Hiller benefited from landing Rhatigan, another strong Mercer shooter may not be a bad idea.

The Freshmen

Northwestern welcomes six first-years to Evanston in Alexandra Blake, Noel Cumberland, Taylor LaPointe, Alexis Ventresca, Madison Smith and Lauren Archer. Blake, Ventresca, LaPointe and Archer are two-time high school All-Americans, and LaPointe was ranked by Inside Lacrosse as the 28th-best player in the class.

Smith is the younger sister of Northwestern junior Samantha Smith, who dominated the draw for the ‘Cats en route to a title.

These players will hopefully get the opportunity to know each other ahead of the fall as Blake, Cumberland, LaPointe, Ventresca and Smith were invited to try out for the 2024 U20 National Team. Hiller will be the head coach and other Wildcat invitees include Madison Taylor, Francesca Argentieri, Abby LoCasio, Rachel Weiner and Class of 2024 recruit Hannah Rudolph.