#2 Northwestern Dominates Draws, #20 UMass

After Fitzgerald secured a hat trick with 20:06 still to go in the half, UMass made a few defensive stands and notched a free position goal of its own to get on the board and set the score at 5-1. But Fitzgerald was on the spot again, taking yet another timely feed from Smith and slotting it home -- despite being fouled in the process -- for her fourth of the evening.

With NU later leading 6-2, LoManto came up large on consecutive shot attempts by the Minutewomen, recording two straight saves on her way to six on the evening.

Sophomore Ali Cassera notched her eighth tally of the season following a restart feed by Rich behind the net, and Alyssa Leonard put Northwestern ahead by five once again, 8-3, with 5:33 to go. One final free position tally with 13 seconds to play in the first by Amanda Macaluso gave the Wildcats a six-goal lead at the break.

Hardly five minutes into the second stanza, Northwestern had extended its run to seven straight goals after Thornton, Macaluso and Fitzgerald -- again off the free position -- subdued the hosts' hopes for a comeback.

UMass' Jesse O'Donnell scored her second free position goal of the night to make it 14-6, but it was all Northwestern from that point on as NU held onto possession for most of the next 14 minutes. After being held without a goal for the first 51 minutes, Smith broke into the scoring column with two straight tallies, both unassisted and off her own creative ability, to raise her team-best points total to 60.

Northwestern now carries its undefeated 9-0 mark into a tough three-game homestand that begins against third-ranked Duke on Saturday. Start time is scheduled for noon CT with the Big Ten Network carrying the live broadcast to a national audience.

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2011-03-26



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