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Things aren’t all terrible! Sports Northwestern is Good At

From bases to buzzers, it’s not all despair in Evanston.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Chicago Cubs Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Hi! It’s Thursday of Northwestern Week, and it coincided with me driving to Michigan in the middle of the week. There are currently Northwestern Wildcats spring sports happening, and they’re even good at some of them! I am going to tell you about them here:

Women’s Lacrosse

Are They Good? Duh.

How Good? Eh? Not as good as normal, but still pretty good. The ‘Cats lost the regular-season conference championship to Maryland on the last day of the season, then bombed out in Round 1 of the Big Ten Tournament to Rutgers, of all teams.

Who’s Good? Attacker Lauren Gilbert scores lots of goals, and Jill Girardi is a draw control expert. People tell me both those things are, in lacrosse, very good to do. So...I’ll let the other ‘Cats fans in the comments expound upon that.

Postseason Play? Sure! Kelly Amonte-Hiller’s club got the 4-seed, rolling Central Michigan and handling Michigan at home. In the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament, chalk has held in their region, so they’ll face the 5-seed Syracuse Orange (today, 4pm CT, ESPNU).

Softball

Are They Good? Hell yeah—2022 Big Ten Regular-Season Conference Champions!

How Good? Were you not listening? CHAMPS, BABY! (They fell 2-1 to Michigan in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament, but who cares tournaments are dumb and we didn’t want to be there anyway.)

Who’s Good? Pitcher Danielle Williams is an ace in the circle. The ‘Cats tend to go as far as her left arm takes them—big bopper Rachel Lewis also set the school record for career home runs and has bashed 20 this year.

Postseason Play? Hell yeah! Because of the late swoon—including two run-rule losses at moribund Minnesota—Northwestern fell from a top-8 seed to the 9-seed, putting them in the Arizona State Super Regional, but the ‘Cats host Oakland, McNeese State, and Notre Dame in Evanston starting tomorrow, Friday, at 3:30pm CT (ESPN+).

Baseball

Are They Good? Eh.

How Good? “Might be in the Top 8 and make the Big Ten Tournament” good! Is that OK?

Who’s Good? C/1B Stephen Hrustich has been a strong bat, and IF Anthony Calarco has led the way, slugging .616 with 11 home runs. The pitching duo of Michael Farinelli (3.89 ERA) and Sean Sullivan (78 Ks, 10.9 K/9) has been strong, too, though a lot of bullpen breakdowns and inconsistent pitching has held them back.

Postseason Play? We’ll see! The ‘Cats sit in ninth at 8-13 in conference play, tied with Nebraska at 8-13 and trailing Purdue, who’s 9-10. Northwestern gets last-place Minnesota, while Purdue hosts #14 Maryland. So...stay tuned?

Tennis

Both men’s and women’s tennis have been eliminated from the NCAA Tournament (the men in R1 by Wake Forest, the women in R2 by #8 Kentucky).

Golf

While stupid Illinois won yet another Big Ten championship in golf, Northwestern’s David Nyfjäll was the Big Ten medalist, shooting a three-round total of 215 (-1) and distinguishing himself as the only golfer to finish below par. Bitchin’ name, too.

On the women’s side, the ‘Cats finished tied third in the Big Ten team championships, with Jennifer Cai shooting a -2 under over three rounds to finish in third.

Fencing

With Foil Fencer of the Year candidate Sarah Filby, Sabre Fencer of the Year candidate Sky Miller, and Epeeist and Newcomer of the Year candidate Hanna Lipthay leading the line, the ‘Cats fencers finished in the Top 10 at the NCAA Tournament behind CCFC Coach of the Year Zach Moss.

Quiz Bowl

MOST IMPORTANTLY! The Northwestern transfer portal doesn’t just stop in sports—a roster full of graduate students took Northwestern to the National Academic Quiz Tournaments’ (NAQT) 2022 Intercollegiate Tournament (ICT). The A team almost overcame a bad loss to McGill A in their opening round but fell to Vanderbilt A in a tiebreaker, dropped into the second tier playoffs, and went 3-3 there to finish tied for 12th.


Sorry this is so late. Hope you’re enjoying Northwestern Week.