#1 'Cats Reach Final Four with 17-6 Win Over UNC

EVANSTON, Ill. - Trailing by two late in the first half, Northwestern regrouped after a timeout and went on a 14-1 run to end the game as the Wildcats (18-1) earned their second straight trip to the NCAA Division I Lacrosse Final Four with a 17-6 win today over No. 5-seed North Carolina (13-6) on a picture-perfect day along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Northwestern will meet the No. 1-seed Duke Blue Devils (18-2) at 6 p.m. ET on Friday, May 26 at Boston University's Nickerson Field in the semifinals. The second semifinal matchup features No. 7 Dartmouth against No. 6 Notre Dame. The championship game will be played Sunday, May 28 at Noon ET.

Aly Josephs led NU with four goals followed by Kristen Kjellman and Meredith Frank with three. Brooke Dieringer and Melissa McCarthy each had two goals for UNC.

After the Tar Heels scored four straight goals to take a 5-3 lead 27 minutes in, Northwestern head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller signaled for a timeout. After that, the Wildcats played like the team we know and love, scoring three goals in the final two minutes of the half to take a 6-5 lead and take the wind out of the Tar Heels who appeared to be heading into halftime with the lead.

Amonte Hiller: "I said to my team, 'You have to reach down in your heart and, if you want to win this game today, we need to step up and leave it all out on the field.' I know if we play that way, I know we can do this. It was like we turned the light switch on after that timeout. We weren't playing our game at all."

She got her message across. A minute after the timeout, Josephs came up with a ground ball at midfield and sprinted right to the goal, leaving nothing but a trail of Tar Heels in her wake as NU cut the lead to 5-4. Ensuing goals by Lindsey Munday and Josephs gave NU the one point lead at halftime.

The second period was all Wildcats as NU outshot UNC 18-6, held an 11-5 advantage on ground balls, 10-3 on draw controls while committing just four turnovers compared to nine in the first half.

"The second half is indicative of how explosive we can be and that is what we are looking to do next weekend," Amonte Hiller said. "North Carolina is a great program and I have a lot of respect for their coaching staff as well. I just know that when we get on a roll, we can be very explosive and tough to stop. We're a very fast and athletic team, so if we get a lead it becomes even more beneficial."

Morgan Lathrop was on top of her game once again in goal, making one incredible save after another. UNC searched high and low, but found nothing but Lathrop's stick. She finished with 10 saves on the day. Munday found the back of the net twice as did fellow senior Laura Glassanos. Hilary Bowen and Sarah Albrecht each had one goal.

Game Notes: Northwestern tied the school's single-season record for assists in a season with 158 ... They also are two points away from breaking the record of 475 points set last season ... NU is now 7-1 in the NCAA's under Kelly Amonte Hiller and 8-6 overall ... Kjellman had her 16th game with a hat trick or better ... NU has now won 20 in a row at home, two away from the NCAA record of 22 held by Maryland ... With 315 goals this season, Northwestern is two shy of tying the record for most goals scored in a season which is 317 set last year.
Score by Period       1  2  Tot
-------------------------------
North Carolina...... 5 1 - 6
Northwestern........ 6 11 - 17

North Carolina SCORING:
GOALS: Brooke Dieringer 2; Melissa McCarthy 2; Christina
Juras 1; Meg Freshwater 1.
ASSISTS: Stephanie Scurachio 1.

Northwestern SCORING:
GOALS: Aly Josephs 4; Meredith Frank 3; Kristen Kjellman 3;
Lindsey Munday 2; Laura Glassanos 2; Hilary Bowen 1;
Sarah Albrecht 1; Casey Donohoe 1.
ASSISTS: Hilary Bowen 2; Sarah Albrecht 1; Meredith Frank 1;
Lindsey Munday 1; Hannah Nielsen 1.

SHOTS BY PERIOD 1 2 Tot
-------------------------------
North Carolina...... 12 6 - 18
Northwestern........ 14 18 - 32

GROUND BALLS BY PRD 1 2 Tot
-------------------------------
North Carolina...... 10 5 - 15
Northwestern........ 11 11 - 22

DRAW CONTROLS BY PRD 1 2 Tot
-------------------------------
North Carolina...... 4 3 - 7
Northwestern........ 8 10 - 18

FREE-POSITION SHOTS 1 2 Total
----------------------------------------
North Carolina...... 0-0 1-2 - 1-2
Northwestern........ 1-5 2-3 - 3-8

SAVES BY PERIOD 1 2 Tot
-------------------------------
North Carolina...... 4 3 - 7
Northwestern........ 6 4 - 10

FOULS BY PERIOD 1 2 Tot
-------------------------------
North Carolina...... 14 18 - 32
Northwestern........ 9 5 - 14

TURNOVERS BY PRD 1 2 Tot
-------------------------------
North Carolina...... 5 9 - 14
Northwestern........ 9 4 - 13

2006-05-20



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