March 14, 2009

Nielsen, Bowen Terrorize Rutgers

from press release

EVANSTON, Ill. - The Northwestern senior duo of Hannah Nielsen (Adelaide, Australia/Brighton Secondary) and Hilary Bowen (Rochester, N.Y./Brighton) struck again, as Bowen tallied two goals and eight assists while Bowen added six goals and a helper in leading the top-ranked Wildcats to a 24-1 victory over Rutgers at Lakeside Field. The 23-goal victory is the largest for the ‘Cats under head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller, and the biggest for NU since a 25-0 victory over Wisconsin in 1988.

The Wildcats controlled the game from the opening whistle, notching seven goals in the first 10 minutes, including three from Bowen and a pair from sophomore Brooke Matthews (Baltimore, Md./Friends School). After the Scarlet Knights (3-3) found the back of the net with 19:48 remaining in the first half, it was all Northwestern, adding seven goals to take a 14-1 lead into the half.

As dominant as the ‘Cats were in the first half, they were even stronger in the second. NU would add 10 more goals to the total, lead by three from junior Katrina Dowd (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Yorktown) and a pair from junior Danielle Spencer (Rochester, N.Y./Brighton).

Eleven different Wildcats tallied goals in the contest, as the 24 goals matches the season-high set against Denver in the season opener. Dowd would finish with four, Spencer added three, while senior Meredith Frank (Westwood, Mass./Westwood) joined Matthews by notching a pair of goals. Senior Casey Donohoe (Jarrettsville, Md./Notre Dame Prep), sophomores Kim Pantages (North Caldwell, N.J./West Essex) and Kendall Santulli (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central) and freshmen Shannon Smith (West Babylon, N.Y./West Bablylon) and Jessica Russo (Port Jefferson, N.Y./St.
Anthony's) each added a goal as well.

Defensively, however, is where the Wildcats really shined, as after holding Rutgers to just one goal on six shots in the first half, they held the Scarlet Knights without a shot in the second half until one second remained in the contest. NU also forced 22 Scarlet Knight turnovers, including four caused by Bowen. Senior goalkeeper Morgan Lathrop (Briarcliff, N.Y./Hackley School) allowed just one goal and made three saves, bringing her goals against average to 4.53 and upping her
save percentage to .571.

Nielsen put together her second 10-plus point game of the season, and has 24 goals and 31 assists (55 points) through the first eight games. She upped her career assist total to 172, and needs just seven assists to surpass Jen Adams as the all-time NCAA assist leader.

With her six goals on the afternoon, Bowen reached a pair of milestones on the day. She surpassed Kathleen Kochmansky for third on the all-time goals list at Northwestern, and she also became just the third Wildcat to reach 200 goals in her career, as she now sits at 202. Add her assist to that, and she now has 276 career points, which is fourth all-time in NU history. She is now tied with Towson's Hilary Fratzke for the fourth-longest goal-scoring streak in NCAA history at 48 games, and both she and Nielsen up their consecutive point streak to 52 games.

The Wildcats now prepare for a familiar foe, as they get set to welcome sixth-ranked Syracuse to town on Sunday, March in a rematch of last season's NCAA semifinal game. NU won 16-8 in Towson on May 23 en route to their fourth-straight national championship. The Wildcats also took a 19-7 decision in the Carrier Dome during the 2008 regular season as well. Opening draw against the Orange is set for 1 p.m. at Lakeside Field.


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