‘Lakeshow’ keeps rolling as regular season winds down
By Logan Schiciano
Northwestern women’s lacrosse tallied a combined 41 goals en route to two commanding victories over Rutgers and San Diego State last week.
The No. 3 Wildcats handled the Scarlet Knights on Thursday, 21-16, thanks to outstanding play from attackers Lauren Gilbert and Jill Girardi.
A strong conference opponent, No. 15 Rutgers had no answer for Girardi in the center circle as the graduate student racked up a career-high 19 draw controls. It was the most draw controls in a game by a single player since Brennan Dwyer set the program record with 21 in a game against Arizona State in 2020.
Girardi’s consistent play this season, with 34 goals and 127 draws, has earned her back-to-back Big Ten Midfielder of the Week honors.
Although the game remained close early, Northwestern never trailed. The Scarlet Nights pulled within one, 13-12, midway through the third quarter, but the Wildcats’ offensive onslaught was too much to handle. Northwestern walloped a season’s best 50 shots and a 8-1 scoring run to close the game buried the Scarlet Knights for good.
Gilbert’s eight goals marked a new career high and she leads the Big Ten with 56 goals so far this season. The graduate student is also averaging four goals per game, which ranks eighth nationally.
Kendall Halpern played more on the attacking end for the first time this season, scoring her first career goal with a crafty, behind-the-back shot in the opening quarter. Fellow sophomore midfielder Carleigh Mahoney added two goals as well.
On Sunday, the ‘Cats welcomed the San Diego State Aztecs to Evanston for the first game of the season at Lanny and Sharon Martin Stadium. In the teams’ first-ever meeting, Northwestern soared to a 20-8 victory, with a variety of ‘Cats contributing.
Eleven Wildcats scored, headlined by Gilbert and Girardi who netted four goals apiece. Kendall Halpern scored second goal in as many games, while freshman Emerson Bohlig and junior Kiera Shanley notched their first goals of the season. Northwestern’s defense allowed less than 10 goals for the sixth time this season and the ‘Cats extended their winning streak to eight games.
Northwestern will play its final regular season home game this Saturday against Johns Hopkins before hitting the road for a bout with Maryland in College Park – a game that will be crucial for seeding going into the Big Ten Tournament.