Today's Division I women's semifinals

May 26, 2006|By KATHERINE DUNN

No. 1 Duke (18-2) vs. No. 4 Northwestern (18-1)

Site -- Nickerson Field, Boston

Time -- 6 p.m.

Outlook -- A much-anticipated showdown between the defending national champion Wildcats and the only team to beat them in the past two years kicks off the final four. The Blue Devils broke a 31-game Wildcats' winning streak with a 16-10 victory April 7. The post-game highlight reel is likely to include some of the best players in the game - last season's Tewaaraton Trophy winner Katie Chrest and Goalie of the Year Megan Huether at Duke as well as last season's Midfielder of the Year Kristen Kjellman at Northwestern. In the last meeting, the statistics were fairly even, but the Blue Devils got the jump in the first half, winning most of the draws and running up an 11-4 lead. Kjellman leads the Wildcats with 68 goals and 25 assists while Lindsey Munday has 43 goals and 48 assists and Aly Josephs (Franklin) has 49 goals and eight assists. Chrest leads the Blue Devils with 61 goals and 19 assists followed by Kristen Waagbo (Mount Hebron) with 45 goals and 32 assists.

No. 7 Dartmouth (13-5) vs. Notre Dame (15-3)

Site -- Nickerson Field, Boston

Time -- 8:30 p.m.

Outlook -- Dartmouth returns to the final four for a second straight year and will meet the only newcomer to the semifinals as Notre Dame advanced for the first time in the 10-year history of its program. The Big Green started the season slowly at 3-3 but rebounded and dismissed Princeton from the tournament with a 7-6 victory in last weekend's quarterfinals. The Irish advanced with their first win in eight tries against Big East foe Georgetown, 12-9, in the quarterfinals. This will be the first meeting between the Big Green and the Irish. Both teams have balanced attacks with three or four top scorers. Whitney Douthett leads Dartmouth with 29 goals and 31 assists and Kristen Barry and Jen Pittman have 37 goals each. The Big Green also has one of the nation's top goalies in Devon Wills, who has allowed just 6.49 goals per game. The Irish are led by Crysti Foote (71 goals, 38 assists), Jillian Byers (54, 24) and Caitlin McKinney (39, 21).

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