March 25, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. -
The nationally top-ranked Northwestern women's lacrosse team (9-0) used big runs in each half and a strong defensive effort to defeat Navy (10-2), 20-8, on Sunday at Lakeside Field. The loss snapped Navy's program record 10-game win streak.
"Our team performance overall was good and we had stretches of the game that we were really proud of when we were able to match goals," head coach Cindy Timchal said. "Northwestern has three very good scorers and it's very difficult to stop all of them and a reason why Northwestern is the No. 1 team is because they execute throughout the entire game."
Navy and Northwestern played a back-and-forth contest over the first 11 minutes of action. Navy scored the game's first goal just 20 seconds in as freshman Loren Generi (Bayport, N.Y.) won the opening draw control and freshman Jess Fellows (Vienna, Va.) beat Northwestern's goalie for the 1-0 lead. Northwestern scored two in a row to take a 2-1 lead, but Fellows tallied yet another goal at 26:00 to tie the game at 2-2.
After Northwestern's Erin Fitzgerald scored her first goal of the game, Generi scored on a quick strike off a pass from Fellows to knot the game once again at 3-3. Fitzgerald then scored back-to-back goals to put the Wildcats up 5-3.
Sophomore Aimee Gennaro (Havertown, Pa.) scored at 18:59 to make it a one-goal game at 5-4.
Northwestern then took over, scoring six straight goals and holding Navy scoreless for the remainder of the period. Northwestern's Kara Mupo scored three goals to key the run and the Wildcats took an 11-4 lead into halftime.
Navy came out strong in the second half, scoring two straight goals to cut into the Wildcat lead. Generi scored five minutes into the second half and then Jasmine DePompeo (Sayville, N.Y.) fired a shot past the Wildcat keeper off an assist from Fellows to cut the deficit to five.
After another Mupo tally, Fellows struck for her third goal of the game to once again draw the Mids within five at 12-7.
Northwestern then used a similar run as it did in the first half, reeling off five straight goals with Shannon Smith netting three during the 13-minute stretch.
Navy sophomore Kelsey Henshaw broke the Wildcats' run with her first career goal at 9:48, cutting the lead to 17-8. The Wildcats then buckled down and ended the game on a 3-0 run for the 20-8 victory.
Navy goalie Michelle Verbeeck came in off the bench 11 minutes into the first half and made a career-high 13 saves in the contest, keeping Navy in the game. Verbeeck played a season-high 48:57 minutes in the contest.
Navy did a very good job on draw controls and edged Northwestern in the category, 17-13. Generi controlled a team-high six draws for the Midshipmen to go along with two goals. Junior midfielder Kathy Young (Berwyn, Pa.) grabbed five draw controls for Navy.
Fellows finished the game with a team-high five points on three goals and two assists.
Senior captain Kierstin King (Upperco, Md.) grabbed a team-high four ground balls in the contest and also caused a turnover. Senior Dominique Wright (Washington, D.C.) had a ground ball and a caused turnover and did a good job of throwing off Northwestern's offensive attack by face-guarding Smith.
Northwestern held wide margins in overall shots (43-15) and ground balls (26-8). Smith had five goals and three assists for a game-high eight points and Mupo finished with five goals. Fitzgerald notched four goals and one assist.
"I wish we could have scored a couple more goals and had a couple more defensive stops," said Timchal. "But I was pleased with our overall performance and it was a great experience for us. Navy is a better team after playing this game today and this was a wonderful opportunity."
Timchal coached at Northwestern from 1982-90 and also coached Northwestern's head coach, Kelly Amonte Hiller, at Maryland in the mid-1990s, winning two national championships together. Amonte Hiller presented Timchal with a commemorative Northwestern lacrosse stick in a special pregame ceremony.
It was Timchal's first time coaching at Northwestern since leaving in 1990 to turn Maryland into a national powerhouse with eight national championships.
The Mids will return to action on Wednesday, hosting California at 7 pm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Navy will also host Patriot League foe Holy Cross next Saturday.