Evanston, Ill. - Tewaaraton Award finalist Shannon Smith scored four of her five goals in the first half, as Northwestern put together a convincing 18-4 victory over UAlbany in the NCAA Tournament's quarterfinal round on Saturday, May 21 at Lakeside Field. The Wildcats advanced to semifinals for the seventh consecutive year.
     Northwestern (19-2) showed why they have won five national championships by playing a nearly perfect opening period. Leading 2-1, the Wildcats ripped off five unanswered. Jessica Russo connected on a free-position attempt from the left point, before Smith finished off Alyssa Leonard's crossing pass with a sidearm blast to the far post. Kelly Rich added another free-position goal and Smith scored off a wraparound from the right of the crease. Taylor Thornton ended the run by going coast-to-coast after the visitors committed a turnover.
     UAlbany (18-1) came back with a pair of goals midway through the period. Ariana Parker drove from the left to the middle and drilled a shot inside the post. Allie Phelan then converted a free-position opportunity with a bounce shot from the right.
     The Great Danes, who defeated Dartmouth in their first-ever NCAA appearance last week, were looking to cut into the lead even more, but NU goalkeeper Brianne LoManto thwarted Jodi Battaglia from point-blank range. The Wildcats turned the save into a scoring play in transition. Erin Fitzgerald eluded a triple-team in the middle of the field to beat goalkeeper Brett Yenger in a one-on-one situation. The decisive sequence keyed a string of six consecutive goals.
     "They are hard to mimic, because they are so skilled and athletic," stated Battaglia, who scored twice, including her school-record 56th of the season. "We came out flat-footed and didn't handle their pressure as well. You can't can do that in lacrosse because it results in two-goal swings."
     In that outburst to end the half, Russo and Rich tallied goals 58 seconds apart. Russo rolled underneath a defender from the right and Rich dodged from the left side. Amanda Macaluso added a bounce shot from with a free-position chance and Fitzgerald worked her way to goal after a restart for a 13-3 halftime advantage.
     "We tried to prepare for their speed and intensity," said UAlbany coach John Battaglino, who led the program to an America East Conference championship in his first season. "It is hard to generate that in practice with just fifteen field players. But that is the best that I have seen them play. They capitalize on every mistake or error and our hats are off to them."
     Smith, one of five finalists for the nation's top player award, finished with five goals and one assist for the nation's second-ranked team. Fitzgerald, who handed one assist and Rich each scored three times. UAlbany's Brett Yenger played the entire sixty minutes at goalkeeper and made five saves, as suspended starter Anna Berman did not make the trip."
     "We realize what we did and to able to set the makr," offered UAlbany senior Nikki Branchini about her team's accomplishments this season. "It's a great feeling for the team and the alumni. The program is on the map and it will be interesting to see what they will continue to do."
**********
NCAA Tournament - Quarterfinal Round
Northwestern 18, UAlbany 4
     UAlbany - Scoring: Jodi Battaglia 2-0, Allie Phelan 1-0, Ariana Parker 1-0; Goalkeeper(s): Brett Yenger (60:00, 5 saves, 18 GA).
     Northwestern -- Scoring: Shannon Smith 5-1, Erin Fitzgerald 3-1, Kelly Rich 3-0, Jessica Russo 2-0, Kat DeRonda 1-1, Brooke Matthews 1-0, Taylor Thornton 1-0, Amanda Macaluso 1-0, Christy Turner 1-0; Goalkeeper(s): Brianna LoManto (50:46, 2 saves, 4 GA), Darby St. Clair-Barrie (9:14, 0 saves, 0 GA).

Paw Prints: Northwestern has won 71 of their last 72 games on home turf ... the Wildcats have captured seven consecutive American Lacrosse Conference tournament championships ... Northwestern is No. 2 in both polls and is the highest-ranked opponent that UAlbany has played in its Division I history ... UAlbany is the third America East Conference team to reach the NCAA quarterfinals ... Maryland, North Carolina and Duke advanced earlier in the day to the national semifinals ... the NCAA championship will be held at Stony Brook's LaValle Stadium on May 27-29.

NCAA Quarterfinal Round - Northwestern 18, UAlbany 4 (May 21, 2011, Lakeside Field, Evanston, Ill.)
 

Lacrosse Box Score

 
Lacrosse Box Score (Final)
2011 Women's Lacrosse
#7 Albany vs #2 Northwestern (May 21, 2011 at Evanston, Ill.)

 Summary 
Albany (18-1) vs. Northwestern (19-2)
Date: May 21, 2011  Attendance: 738
Weather: Clear and mid-60's
SCORE BY PERIOD   Total 
Albany 
Northwestern  13  18 

Albany SCORING: GOALS: Jodi Battaglia 2; Allie Phelan 1; Ariana Parker 1. ASSISTS: None.

Northwestern SCORING: GOALS: Smith, Shannon 5; Fitzgerald, Erin 3; Rich, Kelly 3; Russo, Jessica 2; DeRonda, Kat 1; Matthews, Brooke 1; Turner, Christy 1; Thornton, Taylor 1; Macaluso, Amanda 1. ASSISTS: DeRonda, Kat 1; Fitzgerald, Erin 1; Smith, Shannon 1.

Officials:.


 Northwestern  
Pos ## Player G A Sh GB DC TO CT FPS Fouls
  2   Leonard, Alyssa  
  3   Smith, Shannon  
  4   DeRonda, Kat  
  7   Fitzgerald, Erin  
  9   Thornton, Taylor  
  11  Frank, Alex  
  12  Vigmostad, Lacey  
  13  Magarity, Colleen  
  18  Matthews, Brooke  
  19  Flibotte, Gabriella  
  23  Russo, Jessica   1-1 
GK   30  LoManto, Brianne  
  1   Conley, Beatrice  
  5   Fox, Rachel  
  6   Macdonald, Kate  
  8   Mupo, Kara  
  14  Rich, Kelly   1-1 
  16  Cassera, Ali  
  17  Macaluso, Amanda   1-1 
  21  Atkinson, Kirstyn  
  22  Tedeschi, Maria  
  24  Turner, Christy  
  27  Clayman, Ellie  
  29  St. Clair-Barrie, D. 
  33  Harrington, Kerri  
    Totals.........  18  28  15  12  10  11  3-3  27 
## Goalie Minutes GA Dec 1 2 Saves
30  LoManto, Brianne   50:46 
29  St. Clair-Barrie, D.  09:14   

 Albany  
Pos ## Player G A Sh GB DC TO CT FPS Fouls
  1   Michelle Primomo  
  3   Taylor Frink  
GK   7   Brett Yenger  
  9   Rachael Burek  
  10  Nikki Branchini  
  14  Ariana Parker  
  16  Amanda Pollock   0-1 
  17  Jess Antelmi  
  18  Allie Phelan   1-1 
  20  Jodi Battaglia   1-2 
  22  Jenn Primeau  
  23  Kathleen Lennon  
  2   Meghan Haney  
  5   Persy Sample  
  19  Brianna Day  
  27  Tara Akstull  
    Totals.........  12  16  2-4  20 
## Goalie Minutes GA Dec 1 2 Saves
7   Brett Yenger   60:00  18 

 Stats by period 
SHOTS BY PERIOD   Total 
Albany 
Northwestern  16  12  28 
SAVES BY PERIOD   Total 
Albany 
Northwestern 
GROUND BALLS BY PRD   Total 
Albany 
Northwestern  15 
FOULS BY PERIOD   Total 
Albany  13  20 
Northwestern  21  27 
DRAW CONTROLS BY PRD   Total 
Albany  12 
Northwestern  10  12 
TURNOVERS BY PRD   Total 
Albany  10  16 
Northwestern  10 
CLEARS BY PERIOD   Total 
Albany  3-3  2-4  5-7 
Northwestern  6-6  5-5  11-11 
FREE-POSITION SHOTS   Total 
Albany  1-2  1-2  2-4 
Northwestern  3-3  0-0  3-3 


 Scoring Summary 
Prd  Time  Team  Type  Assists  H-V 
1.  1st  29:28  NU   Smith, Shannon  Unassisted  1-0 
2.    27:21  NU   Matthews, Brooke  Unassisted  2-0 
3.    26:37  ALBANY   Jodi Battaglia  Unassisted  2-1 
4.    23:46  NU   Russo, Jessica  Free position shot  3-1 
5.    23:29  NU   Smith, Shannon  Unassisted  4-1 
6.    23:00  NU   Rich, Kelly  Free position shot  5-1 
7.    20:17  NU   Smith, Shannon  Unassisted  6-1 
8.    18:10  NU   Thornton, Taylor  Unassisted  7-1 
9.    16:31  ALBANY   Ariana Parker  Unassisted  7-2 
10.    11:45  ALBANY   Allie Phelan  Free position shot  7-3 
11.    10:09  NU   Fitzgerald, Erin  Unassisted  8-3 
12.    9:03  NU   Smith, Shannon  Unassisted  9-3 
13.    7:53  NU   Russo, Jessica  Unassisted  10-3 
14.    6:56  NU   Rich, Kelly  Unassisted  11-3 
15.    4:14  NU   Macaluso, Amanda  Free position shot  12-3 
16.    1:36  NU   Fitzgerald, Erin  Unassisted  13-3 
17.  2nd  27:04  NU   Smith, Shannon  Unassisted  14-3 
18.    21:43  NU   Fitzgerald, Erin  Smith, Shannon  15-3 
19.    20:32  ALBANY   Jodi Battaglia  Free position shot  15-4 
20.    13:58  NU   DeRonda, Kat  Unassisted  16-4 
21.    11:19  NU   Rich, Kelly  Fitzgerald, Erin  17-4 
22.    4:50  NU   Turner, Christy  DeRonda, Kat  18-4 

 Penalty Summary 
Prd  Time  Team  ##  Player  Min  PP  Offense 
1st  21:21  ALBANY   20  Jodi Battaglia   N/A    YELLOW CARD 
  15:07  ALBANY   9   Rachael Burek   N/A    YELLOW CARD 
2nd  03:24  ALBANY   9   Rachael Burek   N/A    YELLOW CARD