Big Ten Women’s Lacrosse Tournament Preview

Story posted April 29, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Alex Rocco

After last year’s women’s lacrosse season was cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no Big Ten Tournament. However, this year it is back after each team played a Big Ten-only schedule.

Let's take a look around the conference to see how the tournament will shake out.

Northwestern Wildcats

Northwestern enters the tournament as the heavy favorite after going 11-0 in the regular season. The Wildcats have one of the most potent offenses in the nation, averaging 21 goals per game. Junior Izzy Scane finished the season with 72 goals and 18 assists for a total of 90 points. Alongside Scane, senior Lauren Gilbert had 55 goals and nine assists for 64 points. The duo of Scane and Gilbert combined for 127 goals, which make up about half of the goals scored by the entire team. The Wildcats also play very tough defense as their opponents average just 10.5 goals a game against them.

Maryland Terrapins

The Terps had a great season this year going 11-5 in the regular season. Leading Maryland on offense is sophomore Hannah Leubecker, who scored 51 goals and tallied just one assist. Brindi and Grace Griffin are excellent second and third options as they have a combined 52 goals and 26 assists for 78 points. Teams will have a tough time stopping the Terrapins’ three-headed monster.

Johns Hopkins Blue Jays

Johns Hopkins has had an up-and-down season as the Blue Jays finished the regular season 8-6. They have a great offense; their defense is the problem. On offense, the Jays are led by senior Aurora Cordingley, who racked up 37 goals and 16 assists for 53 points. Cordingley’s supporting cast includes Mackenzie Heldberg, who had stats of 29 goals and 21 assists for 50 points, and Maggie Schneidereith, who tallied 27 goals and 19 assists for 46 points.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Just like Johns Hopkins, Rutgers has been inconsistent, finishing the regular season with a record of 6-8. The Scarlet Knights are led by their dynamic duo Cassidy Spills and Taralyn Naslonski. Spills scored 46 goals and three assists this season while Naslonski tallied 28 goals and 18 assists for 46 points.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State struggled mightily this season going just 4-9 and suffering a six-game losing streak at one point. The Buckeyes offense is carried by the play of Liza Hernandez. Hernandez finished the regular season scoring 38 goals and five assists for 43 points. If the Buckeyes want to have success in the tournament, they are going to rely on Hernandez.

Penn State Nittany Lions

Penn State went just 4-9 this season. However, if there is a team that can pull an upset, it is the Nittany Lions; see their upset of Maryland from earlier this season. The Nittany Lions have a balanced offensive attack led by Maria Auth. Auth has 34 goals and 12 assists for 46 points. Alongside Auth, Olivia Dirks and Kristin O’Neill have been having great seasons. Dirks scored 31 goals and 12 assists for 43 points while O’Neill tallied 29 goals and eight assists for 37 points. 

Michigan Wolverines

The Wolverines come into the tournament as the bottom feeders of the conference with a record of 3-9. Michigan has a very intriguing duo of Caitlin Muir and Molly Garrett. Muir this season has recorded 23 goals and 23 assists for 46 points. As for Garrett, she tallied 35 goals, including seven in a game against Penn State, and three assists for 38 points.

 

Alex Rocco is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email afr5646@psu.edu.