Northwestern Wildcats women's lacrosse
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|Founded||1982; relaunched in 2002|
|Head coach||Kelly Amonte Hiller (since 2001 season)|
Big Ten Conference|
Purple and White|
|NCAA Tournament championships|
|2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012|
|NCAA Tournament Runner-Up|
|NCAA Tournament Final Fours|
|2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014|
|NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals|
|1984, 1985, 1986, 2004, 2015, 2018|
|NCAA Tournament appearances|
|1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018|
|Conference regular season championships|
|2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013|
The Northwestern Wildcats women's lacrosse team is a NCAA Division I college lacrosse team representing Northwestern University as part of the Big Ten Conference. It was a member of the American Lacrosse Conference until the 2013-14 season, when the conference was dissolved as the Big Ten was sponsoring women's lacrosse from the 2014-15 season. The team began competition at the varsity level in 1982, operated as a club sport from 1993 to 2001, and resumed play at the varsity level in 2002. They play their home games at Lakeside Field in Evanston, IL. From 2005 to 2009, the team won the NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship five consecutive times and recorded two undefeated seasons. After losing in the finals in 2010, the Wildcats added their sixth and seventh championships in 2011 and 2012. The midwestern team's success is a rarity in a sport that enjoys most of its popularity on the East Coast - the Wildcats are the only team from outside the Eastern Time Zone to win the national title.
The Wildcats began playing in 1982 and enjoyed success early, appearing in the NCAA tournament five times before budget cuts forced the team to disband in 1993. Northwestern hired former Maryland player Kelly Amonte Hiller to be the head coach when the university revived the team in 2002. Hiller had to think outside the box in forming her squad; she recruited two freshmen who had never played the game before after seeing them jog around campus (they went on to be named All-Americans). Her methods proved successful, however, and the team improved its record every year from its inception until 2005, when the Wildcats went undefeated and won their first national title. Two years and two more championships later in 2007, they joined Maryland as the only teams to win three consecutive national titles. The Wildcats would take home championship trophies again in 2008 and after a second undefeated season in 2009. The streak ended in 2010 when the team lost to Maryland in a championship game that set the attendance record for a women's lacrosse match in the United States. During their five-year championship run, the Wildcats had a record of 106-3 and were undefeated at home. The Wildcats started a new streak the following year when they won their sixth championship, and then a seventh in 2012. Their streak of finals appearances would end in 2013 following a Final Four loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels.
When the team visited the White House after winning their first championship, they created a minor fashion scandal when some members wore flip-flops. The publicity inspired the team to auction off their sandals with the proceeds going to the Friends of Jaclyn charity. The team first met Jaclyn Murphy in 2005 when she was recovering from a brain tumor and their support prompted her father to start a charity that matches other college teams with pediatric brain tumor patients.
|Years of Lacrosse||27|
|ALC W-L record||53-16|
|Big Ten Games|
|Big Ten W-L record||10-6|
|Big Ten Titles||0|
|NCAA W-L record||41-12|
*Statistics thru 2017 season
Individual career records
|Ground balls||183||Christy Finch||2005-08|
Individual single-season records
|NCAA Division I (Independent) (1982–1992)|
|1983||Cindy Timchal||11-3||NCAA First Round|
|1984||Cindy Timchal||10-4||NCAA Quarterfinal|
|1986||Cindy Timchal||10-4||NCAA Quarterfinal|
|1987||Cindy Timchal||10-4||NCAA Quarterfinal|
|1988||Cindy Timchal||10-5||NCAA Quarterfinal|
|No team (1993–2001)|
|NCAA Division I (American Lacrosse Conference) (2002–2014)|
|2002||Kelly Amonte Hiller||5-10||2-4|
|2003||Kelly Amonte Hiller||8-8||2-4|
|2004||Kelly Amonte Hiller||15-3||5-1||T-1st||NCAA Quarterfinal|
|2005||Kelly Amonte Hiller||21-0||6-0||1st||NCAA Champions|
|2006||Kelly Amonte Hiller||20-1||5-0||1st||NCAA Champions|
|2007||Kelly Amonte Hiller||21-1||4-0||1st||NCAA Champions|
|2008||Kelly Amonte Hiller||21-1||4-0||1st||NCAA Champions|
|2009||Kelly Amonte Hiller||23-0||6-0||1st||NCAA Champions|
|2010||Kelly Amonte Hiller||20-2||5-0||1st||NCAA Runner-up|
|2011||Kelly Amonte Hiller||21-2||3-2||T-2nd||NCAA Champions|
|2012||Kelly Amonte Hiller||21-2||4-1||2nd||NCAA Champions|
|2013||Kelly Amonte Hiller||19-3||4-1||T-1st||NCAA Semifinal|
|2014||Kelly Amonte Hiller||14-7||3-3||T-3rd||NCAA Semifinal|
|NCAA Division I (Big Ten Conference) (2015–present)|
|2015||Kelly Amonte Hiller||14-7||3-2||3rd||NCAA Quarterfinal|
|2016||Kelly Amonte Hiller||11-10||3-2||T-2nd||NCAA Second Round|
|2017||Kelly Amonte Hiller||11-10||4-2||3rd||NCAA Second Round|
Postseason invitational champion
The Wildcats have appeared in 19 NCAA tournaments. Their postseason record is 41-12.
|1983||First Round||Harvard||L, 4-9|
|1987||Quarterfinal||New Hampshire||L, 9-11|
|1988||Quarterfinal||Penn State||L, 6-12|
|Mount St. Mary's
W, 11-10 (ot)
W, 13-12 (2ot)
W, 12-11 (ot)
Awards and Records
- Honda Sports Award – Lacrosse
- Kristen Kjellman – 2005, 2006, 2007
- Hannah Nielsen – 2008, 2009
- Shannon Smith – 2011
- Taylor Thornton – 2012
- Hannah Nielsen – 2008
- Shannon Smith – 2011
- Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association Division I National Coach of the Year
- Kelly Amonte Hiller – 2005, 2008, 2009
- "Guide to Using Marks, Colors, Trademarks, and Logos" (PDF). Northwestern University Trademark Licensing. September 21, 2016. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20090528045136/http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/chi-25-nu-lax-chicago,0,7199998.story. Archived from the original on May 28, 2009. Retrieved May 28, 2009. Missing or empty
-  Archived September 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Chicago - Chicago : News : Politics : Things To Do : Sports". Suntimes.com. Retrieved 2015-05-17.
- "Northwestern loses bid for 6th straight NCAA women's lacrosse championship". Tribunedigital-chicagotribune. 2010-05-30. Retrieved 2015-05-17.
- "USATODAY.com - NU's lacrosse team sparks flip-flop flap at White House". Usatoday.com. 2005-07-19. Retrieved 2015-05-17.
- Pete Thamel (2009-05-15). "Four-Time Champions, and All Jaclyn's Big Sisters". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-05-17.
- "2017-18 Big Ten Records Book" (PDF). Big Ten. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
- "Division I Women's Lacrosse Championships Records Book" (PDF). NCAA. Retrieved October 19, 2017.