Lacrosse: Northwestern to host Dartmouth and Duke this weekend inside Ryan Fieldhouse


Daily file photo by Alec Carroll

Jill Girardi carries the ball. The Cats have a difficult pair of nonconference games this week.

Karim Noorani, Reporter


Friday night will take coach Kelly Amonte Hiller back to her early years.

The last time No. 6 Northwestern (1-0) played Dartmouth was the 2006 NCAA Championship game. At the time, Amonte Hiller was four years into her tenure as Northwestern’s head coach and in the midst of leading the program to a dynastic run, which capped off with seven NCAA championships, 10 Final Four appearances and an ongoing streak of 15 consecutive playoff appearances.

Not only will the game remind Amonte Hiller of the Northwestern’s glory days, but so will Dartmouth head coach Danielle Spencer. Spencer played and coached under Amonte Hiller for a large portion of the Wildcats’ historic run before taking the job at Dartmouth in 2017.

“Danielle is a fantastic coach. I know for a fact she’s a great motivator,” Amonte Hiller said. “She’s a little gritty and we know that’s the type of team Danielle will coach. We know (Dartmouth) is super competitive, really gritty and really similar to their leader.”

Friday night also represents the start of a challenging back-to-back for NU. The Cats will have less than 48 hours to prepare for a revenge game against No. 16 Duke on Sunday. They lost a nail-biter to the Blue Devils last year after failing to come back from an early deficit.

One of the keys to starting off the game strong this time around will be senior attacker Selena Lasota. Lasota had three goals and an assist in the first half against Louisville last week and finished the night as the game’s leading scorer.

“If we start off strong, then every single moment we need to continue staying strong,” junior midfielder Megan Kinna said. “We’re not even focused on our second opponent this weekend. We’re really only focused on our first. That’s our emphasis.”

Friday will also be the second career game for freshman midfielder Izzy Scane. Scane was the only freshman to start in the regular season opener, racking up multiple ground balls, draw controls and goals.

Amonte Hiller said Scane showcased her fearlessness and tenacity in her first game, where she scored a goal before even 20 seconds had expired.

“(Scane) brings a level of fearlessness. She comes in and she’s just a competitor. She’s not a typical freshman that has some level of nerves,” Amonte Hiller said. “She has come in and set the tone for what she wants to be this season and for what she wants to be for this program.”

In addition, Friday will be the team’s second regular season game inside Ryan Fieldhouse. The Cats seemed to thrive off of the stadium and crowd’s energy in their 21-11 win against the Cardinals last week.

Amonte Hiller said they’re excited to have the first weekend doubleheader against such challenging competition.

“Playing inside Ryan Fieldhouse is just such a game changer,” Amonte Hiller said. “It’s an incredible environment for the fans and players. We could not be more excited to host two games this weekend. If you want to be the best, you have to be able to handle a weekend like this.”

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