By Charlie Roumeliotis
The Northwestern women's lacrosse team announced Monday that they will be hosting the University of Southern California at Wrigley Field on April 26, 2014, which will be aired on Big Ten Network.
A year ago, the Wildcats' baseball team defeated shutout Michigan 6-0 at the Friendly Confines, and the football team defeated Illinois as well in 2010.
And now the women's lacrosse team will look to replicate the same success their other athletic teams have had there.
"We're very excited about the matchup and to have the opportunity to play at such an amazing venue," said head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller. "We've seen [the men's baseball team and football team] have some great successes there and we're hoping to have a great draw and hopefully have a lot of people from the Chicagoland area come and check us out."
Lacrosse fields carry flexibility when it comes to their dimensions. They're usually around 60 yards wide and 120 yards long, but Northwestern's home field in Lakeview is a little bit bigger than that.
However, the size of the field during the Wrigley Field game has yet to be determined.
"We've been kind of going back and forth with the field and just kind of figuring out which would be the best configuration in terms of the size," Amonte Hiller said. "And then also just the layout in terms of the dirt and grass and how we're going to configure that, but it shouldn't be too much of an issue. We're pretty flexible in terms of that."
Northwestern is pushing for the 2015 NCAA women's tournament to be in the Chicagoland area, along with the men's. And Amonte Hiller believes this Wrigley Field game will be a nice stepping stone for that.
"I think this is a great lead into it," she said. "To have a venue right in the city where a lot of lacrosse fans and just general Northwestern fans can come and check us out would hopefully give a little inside into our following and how excited people would be to have the NCAA tournament in this area. We would just be, obviously overjoyed.
"I know that the men's as well have bid for Soldier Field," Amonte Hiller added. "So to have both -- one at Toyota Park, one at Soldier Field -- I think that'd be a really cool Memorial Day weekend."