Non-Rev Recap: May 7-9
By Jack Lido
Editor’s note: Each week, WNUR Sports recaps the news and results from the in-season, non-revenue teams that we cover in order to help our listeners and readers stay connected to the pulse of Northwestern athletics.
Unfortunately, Spencer Allen’s club is stuck in 9th place in the Big Ten in the midst of a COVID-19 pause. Combined with April struggles, they’ve been passed by multiple teams and sit outside of striking distance of Ohio State (6th) and Rutgers (7th). The schedule gets no easier with matchups against Nebraska, Iowa and Ohio State.
- 5/7: 7-3 loss at Purdue
- 5/7: 3-2 win over Purdue
- 5/8: 1-0 loss at Purdue
- 5/8: 1-0 win over Purdue
A 2-2 series tie in West Lafayette is disappointing but not catastrophic for the Wildcats. The starting pitching, especially outside of perennial ace Danielle Williams, was fantastic. Morgan Newport pitched a complete-game win with five strikeouts and no earned runs given up, while Lauren Boyd pitched six innings of one-run ball in a heartbreaking 0-1 loss.
Hitting has been a struggle all season for the Wildcats, but it was especially disappointing at Purdue last weekend. Northwestern stranded a total of 32 runners in the four-game series. They weren’t unable to get hits but could not come up with the clutch hits they needed. There were no shining stars amongst a rough-hitting weekend, although Morgan Newport hit a deep three-run homer in game one, it was the only longball of the season.
Northwestern is lucky to draw Nebraska at home this weekend. The Huskers boast the future BIG Freshman of the Year in Billie Andrews and reigning B1G Player of the Week Kaylin Kinney, who just put up an insane 2.600 slugging percentage with three home runs last weekend against Iowa.
As far as the postseason goes, Northwestern should feel a bit nervous but should not be freaking out. Seven of their 14 losses have been to NCAA Tournament teams Michigan and Minnesota. Winning three out of four against Nebraska would make NU feel safe while winning two out of three would give the ‘Cats a little bit better than a 50/50 shot to make the dance.
The hunt for Northwestern’s 8th national championship is on. After Selection Sunday on May 9, the Wildcats are officially the number two overall seed and will host Stanford and Denver this weekend, playing the winner of the two teams on Sunday, May 16 at noon CT. Izzy Scane is the B1G Attacker of the Year and has the best case in the nation for the Tewaaraton Award. The Wildcats will only face fantastic teams for the rest of the year, so there are absolutely opportunities for them to slip up in a single-elimination tournament, but the matchup everyone is waiting for is No. 1 seed North Carolina and No. 2 Northwestern. The Tar Heels boast the best scoring defense in the nation while the Wildcats have the best scoring offense in the nation. The two units are historically good; UNC’s 5.94 goals allowed per game would rank 14th all-time, and Northwestern’s 20.6 goals per game would rank first.
No matter your lacrosse fandom, this is the time to start watching. Not only does Northwestern have a championship-level team, but the entire field is loaded with talented players and teams.