No. 1 Northwestern saw a five-goal advantage shrink to just one early in the second half of its American Lacrosse Conference opener against No. 11 Vanderbilt, but the Wildcats scored the next five goals to pull away and defeat the ‘Dores, 13-6, Friday at Lakeside Field. Junior Erin Fitzgerald contributed a pair of free-position goals to that 5-0 run and finished with a team-best four scores on the day, while Brianne LoMantonotched a season-high 10 saves between the pipes for NU.
Senior Shannon Smith scored three goals to surpass the 300-point plateau for her career and junior Taylor Thorntonalso netted a hat trick, helping the Wildcats win for the 11th straight time against the Commodores.
With periods of pouring rain disrupting the flow of the game early on, Smith was able to put the hosts on top just over five minutes in when she worked off the crease for an unassisted goal, giving her exactly 300 points for her career and sole possession of third on the school’s all-time scoring list.
Five minutes later, Fitzgerald struck off a pass from behind the net by Casey Bocklet, a goal that was answered shortly thereafter by Vanderbilt’s Kendall Pittinger. With the rain making it difficult to even hold onto the ball, both teams were kept scoreless until Smith created for herself once again with 12:37 to go before half.