Random Thoughts: Moving Up, Going Home

Coach Roy spent an interesting Friday, trying to watch 4 different games on two different computers while doing everything else you do on a Holiday Weekend Friday. Along with the rest of the Northwestern Wildcat fan community, he had ups and downs, but the last "up" was the best...

At the risk of turning this into a Lacrosse blog instead of a commentary:
The Dookies figured out how to hold the NU Scoring machine in check during the quarterfinal NCAA Tournament Lacrosse game.

You look at the box score, and Kristin Kjellman, playing in her own backyard, [sorta] again led the scoring with 4 goals, and the rest of the usual scorers kicked in 6 more, but the big shot was by the original "star" of the team, senior Sarah Albrecht.

Albrecht popped a goal into the net in the 1st overtime period to give the Cats the 11-10 lead that propelled them into the finals. Kristen Kjellman had tied the game at 23:57 in regulation after Duke had taken a one goal lead on Katie Chrest's 64th goal. Duke then held the ball for a final shot [shades of roundball] but missed it forcing the regulation tie.

Now, Attacker Sarah Albrecht used to be the "face" of NU Lacrosse. She was Kelly Amonte-Hiller's first big "get" in recruiting, and has had to fight off injuries over her NU career. Newer players have come in and spread the load around, and she moved down the season scoring list to #6 this year, with 33 goals and 14 assists.

But I'll always take experience over youthful exuberance when the going gets tough - Albrecht charged thru the Duke defense at :23 in overtime to get the score that proved to be the game winner.

The Cats didn't get the shot at winning without Kjellman's 4th goal for the day, but when they talk about the 2006 NCAA championship, Sarah Albrecht's 33rd goal of the season just might be the big score.
Don't nobody want to win this thing?
George Kontos was outstanding Saturday afternoon, shutting down the pesky Boilermakers bats and pitching the Cats to an 8-4 win.

Most baseball guys will tell you that its Pitching and Defense that wins games, and NU had that in the first game.

In the second game, facing Michigan in the elimination bracket, the Cats just plain ran out of pitching. The Wolverines nicked the starter for 3 runs, then jumped on reliever Julio Siberio for 5 more.

The loss in the tournament probably dooms the Cats to "stay at home" status in the College World Series. Too bad, these Cats came from nowhere in a conference that just isn't seem to be playing well this year.

If your season is about getting ready for the playoffs, then the rest of the Big 10 snuck up on us. Still it was a good run by a team nobody expected to do anything.
Don't nobody want to win this thing II?
The U-Mass frosh, Brandice Balschmiter handcuffed the Wildcat bats, shutting down NU's big guns, even as Eileen Canney pitched a 3 hitter [see Pitching and Defense above]
Expect to see Balschmiter again today. NU will have to play two exceptional games, but at least they've seen her pitch now.
Oh yes, the Tennis Cats continue to win
This time its Cristelle Grier and Alexis Prousis playing in the NCAA Doubles championships - they've reached the quarterfinals and play Georgia Tech's Kristi Miller and Lyndsay Shosho Saturday.

Also in the other bracket is former Wildcat Audra Cohen who has also advanced to the quarter finals. You'd love to see a final doubles meeting between Miami and NU, but you also have to wonder just how good NU's team would be if Cohen had stayed in Evanston
Anyway, Go Cats, Beat 'em all...

-- da Coach

[Statistics and game flow from NU Sports official web site]

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