Team USA Clips Wildcats to Close Champion Challenge

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Photo courtesy of Tony Moreschi
Photo courtesy of Tony Moreschi

The U.S. women’s national team used a balanced attack to cruise to a 16-9 victory over defending NCAA champ Northwestern in its third and final game of Champion Challenge weekend. The U.S. finished with a perfect 3-0 record against the Wildcats, Syracuse and Team England in its final weekend of training before this week’s announcement of the 18-player roster that will compete in the 2013 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) Women’s World Cup this summer in Oshawa, Ont.
“Our biggest thought is to improve every time we’re together. It is the last time the 25 of us will be together, so we need to cherish this, and we’ve just got to go out there and play,” said U.S. team captain Lindsey Munday, who won player of the game honors Sunday against Northwestern with a one-goal, three-assist performance.
Photo courtesy of Tony Moreschi
Photo courtesy of Tony Moreschi

The Wildcats opened scoring on an unassisted goal from senior midfielder Taylor Thornton, and the two teams traded goals for the first quarter of the game. But the U.S. took the lead for good when midfielder Kelly Berger (one goal, two assists) dished to attacker Sarah Albrecht (two goals), who converted a low crease shot at 12:54 of the opening quarter. A 9-2 run in late in the second half gave Team USA a comfortable 10-4 halftime lead. Overall, 12 different players scored for the U.S., despite a solid performance by Northwestern goalie Bridget Bianco (13 saves).
“This was a great test for us, because she did make a bunch of saves. So the attack and the midfield, we did have to take a breath and really focus on putting it around her,” Munday said.
USA attackers Shannon Smith and Michelle Tumolo led the U.S. with three goals each. Thornton paced the Wildcats with a pair of goals.
“We’re in the high teens [on offense] on average, which is a great thing, against really quality opponents,” USA coach Ricky Fried said.
Team USA averaged 18.3 goals per game during Champion Challenge.
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