After winter weather forced Northwestern’s lacrosse team to postpone its 2014 debut at Lakeside Field by more than a month, the Wildcats were hardly bothered by waiting one extra day before playing their home opener.
The rematch of last year’s NCAA semifinal game between Northwestern and top-ranked North Carolina was supposed to be played March 30 in Evanston, but travel problems encountered by the Tar Heels forced the game to be moved to March 31.
Once the game began, the Wildcats stifled North Carolina’s high-powered offense and delivered their biggest win of the year, beating the Tar Heels 7-5 behind three goals and one assist from senior Alyssa Leonard.
Northwestern’s win snapped the defending NCAA champions’ 15-game winning streak and amounted to a measure of revenge for the Wildcats, who lost to North Carolina in last year’s NCAA semifinals. That loss ended Northwestern’s streak of appearances in eight straight NCAA title games.
The March 31 win over North Carolina was the 300th victory in Northwestern lacrosse history. Seventy-nine of those wins came in the early era of Northwestern lacrosse, from 1982 to 1992.
Northwestern has two regular season games remaining — April 19 against Florida in Evanston, and April 26 against USC at Wrigley Field.