PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Five unanswered goals midway through the second half proved to be the difference as top-ranked Northwestern held off sixth-ranked Penn for a 12-8 victory at Franklin Field Friday evening. Senior Katrina Dowd (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Yorktown) notched four goals on the night with sophomore Shannon Smith (West Babylon, N.Y./West Babylon) adding three tallies and an assist.
Both teams looked to establish position early, and after a Penn turnover, Smith rocketed a shot past Penn goalkeeper Emily Szelest , putting Northwestern (10-0) on top 1-0 early. Dowd then converted a free position attempt with 21:11 remaining, giving the ‘Cats the 2-0 edge.
But two goals in just over two minutes by the Quakers (9-3) knotted the game at two just past the midway point of the opening half. Northwestern then regained control with sophomore Jessica Russo (Port Jefferson, N.Y./St. Anthony’s) bouncing a free position shot into the corner of the net, followed by Dowd’s second of the game at the 6:44 mark for the 200th point of her Wildcat career. The 4-2 lead would hold into the halftime break.
Northwestern had its chances early in the second half but couldn’t convert. Penn eventually got the first tally of the half with 23:14 remaining, cutting the deficit to one at 4-3. But another free position goal from Russo less than two minutes later pushed the advantage back to two at 5-3. Smith then rocketed a shot from the right side that Szelest never saw, giving Northwestern the 6-3 lead with 21:07 remaining.
Dowd completed the hat trick just a minute later, getting a feed from junior Brooke Matthews (Baltimore, Md./Friends School) off the free position attempt to give NU three goals in less than three minutes and a 7-3 advantage. From there, the Wildcats were in a groove and there was little Penn could do to stop them as Smith and Dowd each found the back of the net, making it 9-3 Northwestern.
But just as in previous games in the rivalry, the Quakers weren’t going down quietly, netting two quick goals to cut the deficit to four at 9-5. But just 15 seconds after the Penn goal, sophomore Alexandra Frank (Westwood, Mass./Westwood) sent a beautiful pass to freshman Ali Cassera (Fairfield, N.J./West Essex) who converted to put NU back up by five at 10-5.
After two more Quaker goals trimmed the lead to three at 10-7 with six minutes to go, senior Danielle Spencer (Rochester, N.Y./Brighton) finally found the back of the net, beating Szelest one-on-one to give the ‘Cats some breathing room at 11-7 with just over five minutes to go.
After trimming the gap once more to three at 11-8, sophomore goalkeeper Brianne LoManto (Miller Place, N.Y./Rocky Point) make a key save on a Quaker free position attempt, then Spencer netted her second of the game with 33 seconds left on the clock to seal the victory.
Spencer had another huge night on the draw for Northwestern, winning eight to herself as the Wildcats held a 15-7 edge on the night. LoManto posted seven saves on the night, including five key ones in the second half to help preserve the victory.
Northwestern was able to get a piece of redemption at Franklin Field as the Wildcats last loss was an 11-7 defeat at the hands of Penn in the 2008 regular season finale. Northwestern extended its winning streak to 39 games while improving to 8-2 all-time against Penn as Friday’s game was the seventh in the last four years between the two teams.
The Wildcats now continue their stay in the Keystone State, heading up the road for an American Lacrosse Conference showdown with 18th-ranked Penn State Sunday, April 11. It marks the final road game of the regular season for Northwestern with the opening draw set for 11 a.m. CT at Jeffrey Field in University Park. The game will be streamed live online at BigTenNetwork.com and then re-aired on the BTN at 7 p.m. CT Monday, April 12 and again at midnight and 6 a.m. CT Tuesday, April 13.
22 May 2009: Jersey girls in action during the Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship Semi-Finals held on Minnegan Field at Johnny Unitas Stadium on the Towson State campus in Towson, MD.
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2 May 2009 West Point, NY: Action During the University of Pennsylvania Quakers’ 11-10 victory over the Army Dark Knights of the United States Military Academy in a men’s lacrosse game played at Miche Stadium at West Point.
21 March 2009 Saturday; Philadelphia, PA, USA: The University of Pennsylvania Quakers defeated the Big Red of Cornell 14-2 in a women’s Lacrosse game played today at Franklin Field.
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