March 3, 2011

Northwestern Pulls Away from Navy Late

from press release

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Behind six goals and three assists from All-American Shannon Smith, second-ranked Northwestern (4-0) used an 8-0 second half run to defeat Navy (5-1), 18-8, in women's lacrosse on Thursday evening at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

"We lost to an outstanding program tonight in Northwestern," head coach Cindy Timchal said. "I give all the credit to Kelly [Amonte Hiller] and the Northwestern girls who are tough, tough, tough. I was proud of the effort of our team tonight and we did some things well. But we aren't looking for moral victories and we are going to move on from this defeat and look forward to our next game on Saturday."

Northwestern is the highest-ranked team that Navy has played in its four years at the Division I level. The Wildcats won five straight national championships from 2005-09 and was the national runner-up last season.

"Playing top-level teams like this will help us build our confidence and it will help the program moving forward," sophomore Jasmine DePompeo (Sayville, N.Y.) said. "It's a huge opportunity to see what we need to work on and know how we can prepare for games like this in the future."

Back-to-back goals from DePompeo early in the second half allowed Navy to pull within 10-6 with 24:49 to go in the game, but Smith then scored back-to-back goals of her own to begin the Wildcats' 8-0 spurt. Navy was held scoreless for 22 minutes of action during Northwestern's run and it wasn't until senior Katrina Nietsch (New Canaan, Conn.) converted on a free-position attempt at 2:33 when the Mids scored again.

A late game goal from freshman Aimee Gennaro (Havertown, Pa.) capped off the game's scoring and resulted in the 18-8 final score.

The Wildcats built up an early 2-0 lead in the first half before Gennaro scored on a free position shot. The Wildcats then scored three straight to push the lead to 5-1 before Caitlin Mandrin Hill (Annapolis, Md.) scored off a feed from freshman Molly Hamilton (New Albany, Ohio).
Smith's first goal then came with 12:49 remaining in the first half, before sophomore Kathy Young (Berwyn, Pa.) connected on a free position shot to cut the gap to 6-3.

Smith then scored again to kick off a 3-0 Northwestern run that could have ended the first half, save for Hamilton goal with 3.9 seconds remaining in the frame, off a timely pass from Mandrin Hill.

Northwestern dominated Navy in the game in draw controls, holding a 21-7 advantage and when the Mids did win possession, they were hampered by 18 turnovers. Northwestern had the ball in its offensive territory for the majority of the game and boasted a 44-17 advantage in shots.

DePompeo lead Navy with two goals and an assist and Mandrin Hill added one goal and two assists.

Junior goalie Elaina Ponchione made a number of big saves early to keep Navy in the game and has 10 total saves in the game.

Northwestern is coached by Kelly Amonte Hiller. She won two national championships from 1995-96 while playing for Timchal at Maryland.

Navy will next play its first road game of the season on Saturday at noon at Robert Morris (1-0).


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