Northwestern Edges Canisius in NCAA Opener


Christina Esposito scored four goals, including two in a 33-second span, to lead Northwestern to a 9-7 season-opening win over Canisius.

The college lacrosse season is here. Northwestern, ranked No. 9 in the Nike/US Lacrosse Division I Women's Preseason Top 20, put away pesky Canisius 9-7 in the NCAA opener Monday on a cold and snowy day in Evanston, Ill.

Senior co-captain Christina Esposito led the way with four goals, but the Wildcats otherwise struggled to solve Griffins goalkeeper Rebecca VanLaeken, the reigning MAAC Defensive Player of the Year who started off 2017 with a 16-save performance.

Erica Evans, one of four players in this game who will suit up for the Canadian national team at this summer's FIL Women's World Cup, put Canisius up 5-4 early in the second half. But Esposito responded with two goals in 33 seconds, both assisted by Corinne Wessels (four assists).

Northwestern scored four of the next five goals, including one by Danita Stroup off a behind-the-back pass from Selena Lasota. Stroup, Lasota and highly touted freshman Megan Kinna will join Evans with Team Canada in July.

Highlights of the game, courtesy of Northwestern athletics:

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