Twelve days before the season begins, the Northwestern Wildcats played at the Champions' Classic against the best lacrosse players in the world. The ten goal deficit seems like a lot, but consider that last year's NCAA runner up, Maryland, fell to the same team this weekend by a 15 goal deficit. Among the leaders in scoring for the 'Cats were Erin Fitzgerald and Amanda Macaluso. I believe that the last year's Tewaaraton Award winner and MVP of the NCAA tournament, Shannon Smith was held scoreless, though she found the back of the net twice, only to have the shots called back because of fouls. Also scoring was Taylor Thornton who showed amazing speed and a Derrick Rose-like ability to split two defenders, get to the net, and finish. Although she was the defensive player of the year last year, she seems to be more of a two-way player this year.
Most of the team USA players are now coaches in the college ranks. And Northwestern was hurt by the stellar play of a couple of its alumnae - Lindsey Munday and Katrina Dowd - who often teamed up to score on their former team.
A replay of the game can be found here. Looking for date Jan 29th.