This year the American Lacrosse Conference held a tournament - NU rolled over Penn State and #7 Johns Hopkins to take the first ever conference tournament championship. That might have been the difference.
This year the Cats have wins over 9 of the NCAA's 16 seeds, including 7 wins over 6 of the top 8: #2 Duke [W17-5], #4 Penn [W13-4], #5 Maryland [W12-7], #6 North Carolina [L-9-8 OT], #7 Johns Hopkins [W12-5 & W22-6], and #8 Vanderbilt [W20-2] along with tourney participants Notre Dame, Syracuse [W 10-7], Hofstra [W16-4] and Boston University [W17-4]. The Wildcats lead the NCAA ranks in goals scored (16.7) and fewest goals allowed (5.7) and feature five players with at least 39 goals.
What makes NU so difficult to defend are those 5 players on attack, led by last year's Tewaaraton winner Kristin Kjellman. More than one coach has remarked that NU has just too many weapons to stop - joining Kjellman's 57 goal scoring rampage are Meredith Frank [51 goals], Halary Bowen , Hannah Nielsen and Aly Josephs . NU Goaltender Morgan Lathrop averages under 5.5 goals a game - holding opponents to just 104 goals this season.
The Cats open up against Holy Cross [13-5] at home on Sunday May 13th, where they haven't lost a game in a long time...
They Got it Right This Year
What a difference one win and a conference tourney makes...
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