No. 4 Virginia Set to Make First-Ever Trip to No. 2 Northwestern
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 4 Virginia women’s lacrosse team will head to Evanston, Ill., to face No. 2 Northwestern on Friday at 8 p.m. ET. The game will mark Virginia’s first-ever trip to Lakeside Field and it will be televised by the Big Ten Network on tape delay. The network will air the contest on Friday at 11 p.m. ET, Saturday at 8:30 a.m. ET, and 10 p.m. ET, in addition to Monday at 6 p.m. ET. Live statistics for the contest will be available at VirginiaSports.com.
The game will mark the regular-season finale for the Cavaliers, who hold a 13-4 record on the season. Senior All-Americans Kaitlin Duff and Brittany Kalkstein lead Virginia with a combined season total of 109 points. Duff paces the attack with 55 points, while Kalkstein has 54. Kalkstein also leads the team with 87 draw controls this season, increasing her career total to 277 and leaving her fourth on the NCAA’s all-time career list.
Northwestern enters the contest with a 13-1 record, losing only to North Carolina earlier this month. The Wildcats are led offensively by senior All-Americans Katrina Dowd and Danielle Spencer. Dowd has scored 51 goals and has 20 assists, and leads the team in ground balls with 25. Spencer, the reigning ALC Offensive Player of the Week, has 43 goals and 12 assists this season to go with 68 draw controls.
In the all-time series, Virginia holds the slight edge over Northwestern, 5-4, but the Wildcats have won the last three meetings. Virginia won four of the five regular season contests from 1987-91, but the squads didn’t face again until 2004 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, when the Cavaliers handed Northwestern a 15-11 loss, en route to the national championship.
In last year’s match-up, Duff scored back-to-back goals to erase a two-goal deficit in the second half and knot the score at 10 with 8:30 to play. However, top-ranked Northwestern snuck a shot into the cage with 1:31 on the clock and held off the Cavaliers’ late rally en route to an 11-10 win at Klöckner Stadium.
Following Friday’s contest, the Cavaliers will await word on their postseason fate. The NCAA Tournament selection show will air on Sunday, May 9.