Northwestern 8, Dartmouth
Northwestern 8, Dartmouth 4May 20, 2005
2005 NCAA Division I Womens Lacrosse Championship Semifinals: #1 Northwestern (20-0) vs. #4 Dartmouth (16-3) Final Score: Northwestern 8, Dartmouth 4 Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Md.
Annapolis, Md. Sarah Albrecht scored a game-high three goals and assisted on another to lead Northwestern to an 8-4 victory over Dartmouth in the first game of the 2005 NCAA Womens Lacrosse Semifinals Friday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md.
Kristen Kjellman and Lindsey Munday each chipped in a pair of goals for the No. 1-seeded Wildcats (20-0), who advanced to the national final for the first time in the programs history. Ashley Gersuk tallied three saves in the contest to earn the win.
Northwestern will face either Virginia or Duke in Sundays final at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at 2 p.m.
This is a great win for our program and we are very excited right now, Northwestern head coach Kelly Amonte Hillier said. We couldnt be more thrilled to be representing Northwestern in the finals Sunday.
Katieanne Christian scored twice for the fourth-seeded Big Green (16-3), who were making their first appearance in the semis since 1998.
The Wildcats jumped out to an early 4-0 lead midway through the first half, but Dartmouths goalie, Devon Wills, made six saves to keep the Big Green in the contest.
Dartmouth got on the board with 2.9 seconds remaining in the half as Sarah Szelfi slipped one past Gersuk to make it 4-1 Wildcats at halftime.
We never felt we were out of the game, Dartmouth head coach Amy Patton said. We scored a late goal in the first half and made some adjustments at halftime and felt that we could definitely comeback. My team never hung their heads tonight.
The Wildcats led by as many as five goals at 7-2 with 12:05 to go in the second half on Christy Finchs goal.
We were a little disappointed and frustrated that we gave up a goal that late in the first half, Albrecht said. I think that goal made us come out in the second half and play harder so we wouldnt allow them to get back in the contest.
Northwestern, which was making its sixth appearance in the NCAA tournament, is the only remaining unbeaten Division I team in the nation.
Kelly Amonte Hillier, Head Coach
This is a great win for our program and we are very excited right now. We couldnt be more thrilled to be representing Northwestern in the finals Sunday. Our girls played their hearts out and overall it was a great win because we handled the weather very well. Each individual stepped up and played really hard tonight.
On building the tradition at Northwestern&
This is our new tradition and this is our new program. Were just trying to do the best we can day to day to improve as a team. The coaching staff has done a great job in working with the players to get better. I cant say enough about all the hard work everyone in this program has put in to making this a great team.
Ashley Koester, Senior Midfielder
On dealing with the weather and the field conditions&
One of the things we really focused on, myself especially, was to keep our footing as best we can. We were able to keep up our momentum when we werent falling down. It helped that we had screw in cleats. We were able to use longer cleats to help us keep our footing.
Sarah Albrecht, Senior Attack
On not allowing Dartmouths last-second goal in the first half to faze the team&
We were a little disappointed and frustrated that we gave up a goal that late after playing great defense up to that point. I think that goal made us come out in the second and play harder so we wouldnt allow them to get back in the contest.
On what it means to be playing in a national championship and representing Northwestern&
Its an indescribable feeling to be playing in the game and getting all the support weve gotten from the Northwestern community. Its hard to describe the amazing feeling of coming in the program and building it to where it is right now over the last four years.
Amy Patton, Head Coach
Id first like to say that Im incredibly proud of our kids. Weve had a phenomenal year and its been one of the best years Ive had here at Dartmouth. Watching this team I can see that they are a special group, but unfortunately today, we didnt bring our A game and when you get late into the season you have to bring it if you want to advance. I think Northwestern brought their A game and they played really well today.
On what Northwestern did defensively&
They limited our shots and that was the difference in the game. If you look at the stats, its hard to win when you have as few shots as we had.
On how the team responded after the early deficit&
We never felt we were out of the game. We scored a late goal in the first half and made some adjustments at halftime and felt that we could definitely comeback and make it a game. My team never hung their heads tonight.
Sarah Sanborn, Senior Midfielder
On what Northwestern did defensively&
They did a great job of taking away a lot of our challenges from the middle. That disrupted our attack and prevented us from getting into an early rhythm. They were really quick and pressured us a lot.
On what it takes to try and comeback after falling behind four goals&
Its a matter of heart. We got down four goals, but we never felt we were out of it.
Erin Osborn, Senior Defenseman
On what makes Northwestern so good&
I think they are a very athletic team. They dont get fazed by their opponents and come out and play their style of game. They also attack and are aggressive on defense.
This was the first meeting between the two teams since the modern era of Northwestern lacrosse (beginning in 2002).
The Wildcats advance to their first-ever NCAA Championship in program history; this is their sixth NCAA tournament appearance.
The Wildcats are the only-remaining unbeaten Division I team in the nation with a record of 20-0.
Junior midfielder Lindsey Munday (2 goals) has now scored a goal in 13 of her last 14 games, and has had two or more goals in 9 of the last 11 contests.
Munday has set a new school record for total points in a season with 103 (52 goals, 51 assists).
Sophomore midfielder Kristen Kjellman (2 goals) is now only two shy of Northwesterns modern day record (56) for single goals in a season.
Senior attack Sarah Albrecht had a team-high four points, three goals and an assist; giving her a total of nine multi-goal games on the season.
The Wildcats have now scored first in all but three games this season, vs. Duke, at John Hopkins, and vs. Ohio State; the Wildcats scored four unanswered goals to start todays semifinal contest.
The Wildcats have still yet to be out shot by an opponent this season; the Wildcats held a 22 to 11 advantage over the Big Green.
Dartmouth Big Green
The Big Greens four goals was their lowest total on the season; the previous low came in a 12-8 loss at Duke on May 8th.
Sophomore attack Sarah Szefis goal with 2.9 seconds remaining in the first half helped the Big Green to avoid their first scoreless half of play this season; the lone first half tally, however, was still the teams lowest offensive output in a half this season (two goals in the 1st half at Duke).
The Ivys leading goal scorer senior midfielder Katieanne Christian was held to only two goals (65 on the season), marking only the third time this season that Christian was held to less than three goals in a single contest.
Dartmouth is now 7-10 all-time in NCAA Tournament play; today marked the Big Greens first appearance in the semis since 1998.
-- Courtesy Naval Academy