Northwestern's Katrina Dowd has scored more goals than any other player in the NCAA Division I women's lacrosse tournament, and her record-breaker would make any highlight reel, but not just because it put the No. 1 Wildcats in position to play for their fifth straight national championship.
With her team trailing by a goal in overtime of Friday night's tournament semifinal, Dowd made a desperation dive to save a loose ball and flipped it over her shoulder into the goal.
The junior attacker seemed to have no angle toward the net, but her 18th tournament goal tied the game at 12 in the first overtime and Meredith Frank's goal won it, 13-12, over No. 4 Penn one minute, 27 seconds into sudden-death double overtime at Johnny Unitas Stadium at Towson University.
The Wildcats (22-0) will play for the title Sunday 5:30 p.m. at Johnny Unitas Stadium against third-seeded North Carolina, which topped No. 2 Maryland 8-7 in the semifinal on Friday night.
For a third straight year, the Wildcats defeated the Quakers on the season's final weekend. The Quakers (15-3) rallied from 11-7 down with 9:14 to go to tie it at 11 in regulation. In overtime, Erin Brennan gave the Quakers a 12-11 lead when she scored off a rebound of her own shot.
Dowd, who finished with four goals, answered with the trick shot as time expired to force sudden death. She said she had no idea where the ball was going to go when she flipped it up.
"I knew there wasn't much time and I knew I just had to one-time it in," Dowd said. "Winning that game was on my mind and that was it."
"She'll try anything," said Northwestern coach Kelly Amonte Hiller, whose team also set a Division I single-season scoring record with 558 points as well as 386 goals.