Day & Time: Saturday, May 18 at 2 p.m. ET
Location: Lanny and Sharon Martin Stadium, Evanston, Ill.
TV/Streaming: Big Ten Network Plus/BTN2GO
Radio: WJPZ 89.1 FM
Northwestern blog: Inside NU
Rivalry: 13-5, Northwestern
Current Streak: 1, Orange
First Meeting: In Northwestern’s second year back in action for women’s lacrosse (they were varsity level from 1982-92, then club level from ‘93-’01 before rejoining DI in 2002), Syracuse beat the Wildcats 14-3. At least they made it count, given what would come next in the series.
Last Meeting: The Orange knocked off No. 4 Northwestern at the Carrier Dome back in February, taking home a 15-14 victory in overtime. After leading for much of the game, Syracuse found themselves down 14-12 with seven minutes to play. But two goals in the final five or so minutes would tie the game at 14 apiece. SU’s Emily Hawryschuk netted the game-winner with four minutes to go in the extra period.
Head Coaches: SU: Gary Gait (12th year, 190-69); Northwestern: Kelly Amonte Hiller (18th year, 295-77)
Coach Bio: Amonte Miller played lacrosse at Maryland and was a four-time All-American with the Terps from 1993-96. After playing at the college level, she continued to compete on the national level and also served as an assistant at Brown, UMass and Boston University before heading to Northwestern in 2001 to take over as head coach of the Wildcats’ club team in transition back to the DI ranks the following year. Following two so-so seasons, she’s rattled off 16 straight NCAA Tournament bids, including 10 consecutive trips to the Final Four (2005-14) and five straight tiles from 2005-09. She also guided NU to championships in 2011 and 2012.
Last Year: Northwestern went 15-6 overall, falling to North Carolina in the quarterfinals. The Wildcats lost in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament and wound up making the NCAAs as an unseeded team. However, they beat Richmond and then upset 7-seed Towson to get to the quarterfinals vs. UNC.
Last Game: Much to our chagrin, NU beat Notre Dame, 13-10 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last weekend. The Wildcats absolutely blitzed ND early, going up 8-0 in the first 10 minutes before the Irish finally stopped the bleeding a bit with a two-goal run. The Notre Dame comeback attempt got within three goals a few times, but Northwestern always seemed to answer the call. A Wildcats loss would’ve meant a home game for the Orange this weekend (/gnashes teeth).
”Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: Selena Lasota is the most dangerous weapon for NU on a team full of offensive firepower. The senior attacker has scored 79 goals this year, to pair with 16 assists — including a nine-goal effort against Rutgers. However, back when these teams played at the Dome earlier this season, she was held to just two goals and one helper.
If Syracuse Wins: The Orange are back in the Final Four for the first time since 2016, and the eighth time in program history. They’d face the winner of the Maryland-Denver game on the other side of the bracket. So... probably the Terps.
If Syracuse Loses: Considering how this year started, and the Final Four expectations Syracuse still has, falling short of the sport’s final weekend would be a severe buzzkill. Still, a pretty impressive campaign that just fell short in part due to seeding putting them on the road in the quarterfinals.
Fun Fact No. 1: At seven championships, NU only trails the Maryland women (13), Syracuse men (11) and Johns Hopkins men (9) in total NCAA Division I lacrosse championships.
Fun Fact No. 2: One of Wildcats coach Kelly Amonte Miller’s siblings is former NHL player Tony Amonte, who played right wing for 17 seasons — primarily for the Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers.