No. 4 Northwestern Surges in Second Half to Top No. 11 UVa

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – No. 11 Virginia held a one-point lead at halftime, but a strong second half propelled No. 4 Northwestern to an 11-6 victory Sunday night at Klockner Stadium.

With the victory, Northwestern improves to 11-1 and has now won each of the last seven meetings between the two teams. Virginia falls to 7-7 on the season.

"I was really excited with our first half performance," said Virginia head coach Julie Myers. "I thought we opened up with some nice fast breaks and some great looks at the goal. Then they started stopping the fast break a little bit better and our attackers got a little tighter."

Virginia used fast-break opportunities to jump out to a 3-0 lead before Northwestern scored its first goal of the game with 21:57 left in the first half.

Courtney Swan (So., Vero Beach, Fla.) pushed the lead back out to three with an unassisted goal with 11:52 remaining in the period. Northwestern answered 33 seconds later. The Wildcats' Kelly Rich scored on a free position shot with 2:53 left in the half to cut the Virginia lead to one, 4-3, at the break.

Erin Fitzgerald, the Wildcats' leading scorer, tied the game, 4-4, 3:10 into the second half, but Ashlee Warner (Jr., Corning, N.Y.) put Virginia back ahead, 5-4, after getting a pass from Morgan Stephens (So., Olney, Md.) with 26:13 left in the game. It would be the last lead Virginiawould hold in the contest.

Northwestern scored five unanswered goals to take a 9-5 lead. Swan scored her second goal of the game with 5:12 remaining to cut the deficit to three, 9-6.

Virginia turned up the ball pressure, trying to force turnovers and gain possessions. Northwestern weathered the pressure and added two more goals, including a shot from Beatrice Conley with 29 seconds left in the game.

"Northwestern is just a great team," Myers said. "In the second half, they just chipped away. They won a few more draw controls, got a few more loose balls and were able to really score on that offensive end. Ithink their last four or five goals were really because we were rather desperately trying to get the ball back. They are a great team at holding possession as well, so we knew we couldn't let them take that much time off the clock. By doing that, we were pretty exposed to some pretty easy shots for them."

Swan finished the game with two goals and an assist. Warner also had a pair of goals. Liz Colgan (Jr., Cockeysville, Md.) had five saves.

Northwestern outshot Virginia 21-14 including taking 13 shots to the Cavaliers' seven in the second half. The Wildcats were 7-4 on draw controls in the second period.

Virginia will be back in action on Thursday, April 11 when it hosts Johns Hopkins at 7:00 p.m. at Klöckner Stadium. The Cavaliers close out the regular season with a home game on Wednesday, April 17 against VirginiaTech, also at 7:00 p.m.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Despite trailing at halftime for the third time in four games, No. 4 Northwestern took its first lead with 18:12 to play and dominated the second half to earn an 11-6 victory over No. 11 Virginia Sunday evening in Charlottesville. The Wildcats won their ninth straight contest and improved to 11-1 entering top-10 showdowns next weekend with Duke and Stanford in Evanston.

It marked the third straight meeting between the two schools in which Virginia led Northwestern at halftime only to have the Wildcats win the second half and come away with a victory. On Sunday, the Cavaliers held an early 4-1 advantage before the Wildcats reeled off eight of the game's next nine goals to earn the road win.

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2013-04-07



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