May 2, 2014

Northwestern Rallies Past Ohio State in ALC

from press release

EVANSTON, Ill. -- If future Big Ten Conference meetings between Northwestern and Ohio State are anything like the last four they contested as members of the American Lacrosse Conference, lacrosse fans everywhere are in for a treat.

For the fourth straight time, the 'Cats and Buckeyes played to a one-goal outcome, this time a dramatic 9-8 Northwestern victory in the semifinals of the 2014 ALC Tournament in Evanston. Trailing well into the second half, NU relied heavily on the play of senior leaders Alyssa Leonard and Christy Turner to secure their eighth straight -- and last -- appearance in the ALC Tournament title game.

As it has each year since 2011, Northwestern will once again face a top-seeded Florida Gators squad in the championship matchup. NU, which avenged a one-goal regular-season loss to Ohio State in the semifinal, will attempt to do the same against the Gators at 11 a.m. CT Sunday (May 4) in Evanston.

Northwestern trailed 6-3 with less than 20 minutes remaining on the clock, but in a span of just six and a half minutes managed to score six of the next seven goals -- all courtesy of members of its senior class -- to claim a 9-7 advantage with 12:22 to play.

Naturally, the game was far from decided at that point, and remained in question right down to the final moments when Ohio State's Cian Dobrowski was awarded a straight-on 8-meter attempt with 18 seconds to play and the Buckeyes trailing by a goal. But Dobrowski left her starting point prior to the referee's whistle, resulting in a turnover and the end of Ohio State's ALC title hopes.

In her 83rd career game played with the Wildcats, Turner netted her first career hat trick on attack, while Leonard matched Turner's three goals and added an assist and eight draw controls in the victory. Northwestern controlled 10 of 11 draws after halftime to spark its comeback and sustain momentum.

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