#1 Northwestern tops #9 UVa. women’s lax

The ninth-ranked Virginia women’s lacrosse team dropped a close contest at No. 1 Northwestern on Saturday (April 28) at Lakeside Field in Evanston, Ill. Ainsley Baker (Corning, N.Y.) led Virginia with two goals, while Kim Kolarik (Riva, Md.) finished with six saves in goal for the Cavaliers.

Virginia concluded the regular season with an 11-7 overall record. Northwestern improved to 16-1 on the season.

Baker tallied her sixth multiple-goal game of 2012, and tied the score at 6-6 for Virginia late in the second half before the Wildcats pulled away for the victory.

Sloan Warren (Philadelphia, Pa.), Katie Slater (Kensington, Md.), Liza Blue (Butler, Md.) and Caroline McTiernan (Garden City, N.Y.) also scored goals for UVa.

Northwestern, celebrating its Senior Day, was led by Shannon Smith’s four goals and Taylor Thornton’s two goals.

The Virginia defense held Northwestern scoreless for the first 19:50 of the game, as the Wildcats did not convert their first 10 shots. During that span, Virginia built a 3-0 lead with free position goals by Blue and Warren and a goal by Slater.

Northwestern got on the board at the 10:10 mark of the first half on a free position goal by Ali Cassera that made the score 3-1 in favor of UVa.

From there, Baker scored an unassisted goal on a low shot with 4:10 remaining in the half to extend the Cavalier lead to 4-1.

Northwestern’s Thornton scored the half’s final goal as Virginia led at the break, 4-2.

In the second half, Northwestern took advantage of the first few draw controls and opened the stanza on a 4-0 run with goals by Smith, Gabriella Flibotte, Kara Mupo and Erin Fitzgerald.

Trailing 6-4, Virginia got its third free position goal of the game from McTiernan with 20:25 remaining in the game to pull the Cavaliers within one goal.

From there, UVa was able to tie the game on Baker’s second goal of the game with 19:05 remaining.

Northwestern scored the next seven goals, earning an 11-6 lead on a goal by Kat DeRonda with 3:16 remaining, and eventually earning the 13-6 victory.

Virginia senior Josie Owen (Gibson Island, Md.) was held scoreless and without an assist, snapping her streak of 38-consecutive games with a point.

Virginia was out-shot, 26-10, and Northwestern won theground ball battle, 19-10. In the draw controls category, Virginia trailed 13-8.

The field for the 2012 NCAA Championship will be announced on Sunday, May 6.

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