Northwestern Wildcats women's lacrosse

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Northwestern Wildcats
Founded 1982; relaunched in 2002
University Northwestern University
Conference Big Ten Conference
(previously ALC)
Location Evanston, Illinois
Coach Kelly Amonte Hiller (since 2001)
Stadium Lakeside Field
(capacity: 2,000)
Colors Purple
NCAA Tournament Champions
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012
NCAA Tournament Runner-Up
NCAA Tournament Final Fours
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals
1984, 2004
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Conference Regular Season Champions
2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

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.[1] 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.[2]


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[3] (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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6]

Historical Statistics[edit]

Years of Lacrosse 22
1st Season 1982
Head Coaches 4
All-Time Record 275-88
ALC Games
ALC W-L record 41-12
ALC Titles 7
NCAA Tournament
NCAA Appearances 14
NCAA W-L record 33-7
Final Fours 8
National Championships 7

*Statistics thru 2012 season

Year-By-Year records[edit]

Year Overall Conference Coach Postseason
1982 8-3 Cindy Timchal
1983 11-3 Cindy Timchal First Round
1984 10-4 Cindy Timchal Quarterfinal
1985 7-4 Cindy Timchal
1986 10-4 Cindy Timchal First Round
1987 10-4 Cindy Timchal First Round
1988 10-5 Cindy Timchal First Round
1989 6-5 Cindy Timchal
1990 4-8 Cindy Timchal
1991 1-10 Robin Cummings
1992 2-8 Patti Bossio
2002 5-10 2-4 Kelly Amonte Hiller
2003 8-8 2-4 Kelly Amonte Hiller
2004 15-3 5-1 Kelly Amonte Hiller Quarterfinal
2005 21-0 6-0 Kelly Amonte Hiller National Champion
2006 20-1 5-0 Kelly Amonte Hiller National Champion
2007 21-1 4-0 Kelly Amonte Hiller National Champion
2008 21-1 4-0 Kelly Amonte Hiller National Champion
2009 23-0 6-0 Kelly Amonte Hiller National Champion
2010 20-2 5-0 Kelly Amonte Hiller National Runner-Up
2011 21-2 3-2 Kelly Amonte Hiller National Champion
2012 21-2 4-1 Kelly Amonte Hiller National Champion
2013 19-3 4-1 Kelly Amonte Hiller Semifinal

Awards and Records[edit]

Kristen Kjellman – 2006, 2007
Hannah Nielsen – 2008, 2009
Shannon Smith - 2011
  • Honda Sports Award – Lacrosse
Kristen Kjellman – 2005, 2006, 2007
Hannah Nielsen – 2008, 2009
Shannon Smith - 2011
Taylor Thornton - 2012
  • Big Ten – Suzy Favor Athlete of the Year
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


External links[edit]