The Northwestern Wildcats lacrosse team got a dominant win over Notre Dame on Sunday to extend their win streak to six games. The Wildcats scored early and often while holding possession for most of the game, beating the 21st-ranked Fighting Irish by a final score of 20-10.
The win moves the #8 Wildcats to 11-3 on the season, while the Fighting Irish fall to 7-7. The Wildcats’ sixth straight win, four of which have come over ranked teams, marks the longest winning streak for Northwestern since 2013.
The two teams exchanged possessions early before Holly Korn put the Wildcats on the board first, and it was all purple and white from there. Northwestern scored the first four goals of the game, forcing a Notre Dame timeout after just ten minutes. Later, after Northwestern scored to make the lead 8-2, Notre Dame pulled their goalie Samantha Giacolone, who failed to record a save.
The difference in the game came on draw controls, where Shelby Fredericks absolutely dominated a rotating cast of Irish. Northwestern won the first five draws, 12 of the first 13, and overall out-drew Notre Dame 26-6, coming up just shy of the NCAA single-game record of 29. Fredericks picked up 12 of those draws herself, and the wins in the circle allowed the Wildcats to keep possession for large portions of the game.
Notre Dame went on a 3-1 mini-run to make the score 9-5 at the half and then cut the lead to three at the beginning of the second half. That was the closest they would get, though, as Northwestern immediately followed with a 7-1 run of their own and eventually stretched the lead to double digits.
Among the fantastic performances for the Wildcats was Sheila Nesselbush, who scored a hat trick in the first 17 minutes, four goals in the first half and tied a career high with five total. Meanwhile, Selena Lasota did not score until the three-minute mark of the first half, but she poured in four in the second half and added two assists for seven points in the game. Additionally, the large lead late in the game allowed fresh faces to enter for Northwestern, and nine different Wildcats found the back of the net.
Next for the Wildcats is a trip to Penn State on Saturday to battle the #19 Nittany Lions for control of first place in the Big Ten, with both teams currently at 3-0 in Big Ten play.