Wildcats advance to NCAA lax finals
Shannon Smith took just one shot on goal, but collected four assists in the victory. She set up goals by Alex Frank, Jessica Russo, Kara Mupo and Lacey Vigmostad.
Erin Fitzgerald and Amanda Macaluso also scored for Northwestern (20-2), which will face fourth-seeded Syracuse on Sunday for its seventh title in eight years. The Orange advanced with a 14-13, double-overtime victory over top-seeded Florida in the first semifinal.
Katie Schwarzmann scored three goals for Maryland (19-4), which lost to the Wildcats in last season's championship game. Last year, the Terrapins lost to the Wildcats after opening a three-goal lead, and they even held a slim two-goal margin early in the second half.
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Powers is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997. He joined ESPNChicago in May 2009 and lives in Chicago.
Rittenberg joined ESPN.com in 2008 after four years at the Daily Herald, where he covered sports at Notre Dame, Northwestern, DePaul and several other colleges. He lives in Chicago and writes for the Big Ten blog.
Bennett joined ESPN.com in August 2008 after nine years at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., where he covered college sports and the University of Louisville beat. He lives in Louisville and writes for the Big Ten blog.
Fortuna joined ESPN.com in 2011 after working for MLB.com and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, where he covered college sports. He grew up in New York and is a Penn State graduate. Fortuna's Notre Dame blog is here.
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