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NDP grad Donohoe sparks Northwestern's title hopes

Northwestern managed to follow up its first national championship in 2005 with two more, thanks to a lot of new players stepping right in.

This season, one of those players is junior midfielder Casey Donohoe, a Notre Dame Prep graduate from Jarrettsville.

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Donohoe is fourth in scoring among the No. 1 Wildcats with 17 goals and one assist.

Wildcats coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said Donohoe has taken on a key part of the role played by two-time Tewaaraton Trophy winner Kristen Kjellman, who graduated last spring.

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"Kristen was so good at the inside game, putting away shots and catching anything on the inside, and Casey has those qualities to catch anything thrown to her and put it away. She's poised, and she's good at cutting and finding holes in the defense," said Amonte Hiller, a four-time Terrapins All-American in the mid-90s.

In addition to Kjellman, the Wildcats lost four other starters, but they have not skipped a beat. Their 18-2 win Sunday over Massachusetts was their 28th straight dating back to last year's season opener, a 9-8 double overtime loss to North Carolina.

This spring, they are 7-0 and outscoring their opponents, including two ranked teams, 138-40.

The competition, however, gets tougher when the Wildcats head to No. 5 Syracuse on Monday and then return home to meet No. 8 Georgetown that Friday.

The goal, of course, is to win a fourth straight NCAA crown. Only Maryland, which won seven from 1995 and 2001, has won more consecutive titles than Northwestern.

Mids keep rolling

After cruising through its early season, Navy (6-0) proved it was ready for league play, taking a 12-11 victory over two-time defending Patriot League champion Holy Cross in Annapolis on Saturday.

Caitlin Mandrin Hill (St. Mary's), who scored the game-winner against Holy Cross, earned her second straight league Defender of the Week award as she excelled at both ends of the field. She leads the league in ground balls per game with 3.17. Midfielder Meg Decker (Mount de Sales) picked up Rookie of the Week honors.

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Freshmen power Loyola

Three freshmen are helping drive Loyola's attack as Abby Rehfuss, Grace Gavin and Mary Heneberry have combined for 45 goals and 14 assists through the first eight games.

Rehfuss had four goals and four assists in Saturday's 21-15 win over Big East rival Connecticut and leads the Greyhounds (3-5) in scoring with 19 goals and eight assists. Gavin (St. Paul's) has 17 goals and five assists, and Heneberry (Dulaney) has nine goals and one assist.

katherine.dunn@baltsun.com



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