The NUmbers Guy: The Last Time… Northwestern Women’s Lacrosse

Photo Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

Photo Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

Former WNUR Sports Director Jim Sannes (@JimSannes) takes a look at the last time the Northwestern women’s lacrosse team was not in the Final Four and what has happened in the nine years since then.

If I were looking for a way to accurately sum up Northwestern women’s lacrosse’s 15-7 defeat of Penn State Saturday to advance to the national semi-finals, it would be this:


Kelly Amonte Hiller has taken a program that didn’t exist from 1993-2001 to the precipice of women’s college lacrosse seven times in the last eight years. In 2004, the revived program’s third year, the ‘Cats lost in the national quarterfinals to the eventual national champions, Virginia. That was the last time Northwestern was not in the Final Four. I was 12 years old and still slept with a stuffed dog and sucked my thumb. The thumb-sucking has subsided a bit, but Bark-Bark and I are going strong.

That’s not all that has changed in those nine years. Let’s try to give this dynastic run some context in the form of cliché look-backs at the time that was.

The last time Northwestern women’s lacrosse wasn’t in the Final Four:

  • Pat Fitzgerald was a 29-year-old linebackers coach under the late Randy Walker.
  • Passion of the Christ was No. 1 in the box office.
  • The No. 1 song on the Billboard charts was “Burn” by Usher.
  • Eli Manning was one month removed from being selected first overall by the San Diego Chargers, who then traded him to the New York Giants.
  • Barry Bonds had 14 home runs and 29 RBI’s on his way to his seventh MVP award.
  • Justin Bieber was 10 years old.
  • George Bush was gearing up for a run at a second term in office.
  • Apple was beginning development on a new product called the “iPhone” that would be released in July of 2007.

Since the start of Northwestern’s run of nine consecutive Final Fours:

  • The team has gone 187-11 (.944 winning percentage), outscoring their opponents 3,022-1,465.
  • Gas prices have risen 76 percent (up to $3.649 from $2.076).
  • Twenty-two different teams have made it to the Final Four of the NCAA basketball tournament.
  • Lindsay Lohan has been arrested 15 times.
  • Alex Rodriguez has earned $256,389,252 in salary.
  • The Cleveland Browns have had 11 starting quarterbacks.
  • The Oakland Raiders have had six head coaches.

If you want to witness this domination for yourself, HAVE I GOT A DEAL FOR YOU! WNUR’s coverage of the Final Four begins Friday at 3:40 with Joe Misulonas and Ryan Connelly Holmes live from Philly. Joe can do “the worm” without touching the ground, and Ryan can juggle blind-folded while riding a horse. Neither of those statements is true, but it will make for some outstanding radio.

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