Lacrosse: No. 4 Northwestern to kick off 2022 season against No. 1 Boston College Saturday


Joshua Hoffman/ Daily Senior Staffer

Graduate student attacker Lauren Gilbert runs down the field. Gilbert will be a critical offensive player for the Wildcats Saturday against Boston College.

Skye Swann, Newsletter Editor

Northwestern lacrosse is back in action.

Following a successful 2020-2021 campaign in which they made it to the 2021 Final Four, the Wildcats will kick off their season Saturday against No.1 Boston College. With the team suffering a loss to the Eagles in 2019, the squad will head to Newton, Mass. seeking redemption. 

The Cats will have big shoes to fill this year: senior attacker Izzy Scane will be sitting on the bench, sidelined with a season-ending ACL injury. Scane led the nation in 2021 with 98 goals, 124 points and 7.75 goals per game. Although her absence on the field will challenge NU, the group returns graduate student attacker Lauren Gilbert and graduate student midfielder Jill Girardi. Both players were critical pieces during the Cats’ dominant 2021 run. 

Ranked fourth in the Inside Lacrosse preseason poll, the Eagles will make for one of the nation’s toughest season-opening opponents. Similar to the Cats, Boston College is jumping into the season as national champions. Defeating Syracuse in the 2021 NCAA championship, the Eagles are a highly competitive team on both sides of the field.

Led by graduate student attacker Charlotte North, the Eagles are an offensive powerhouse in their own right. North finished the 2021 season with 102 goals and 114 points and won the Tewaaraton Award, the most prestigious award in NCAA lacrosse.

While NU had successful fall ball play against Colorado and Stanford, the squad has not played against non-conference teams in the regular season since 2020. This first battle will set the tone for the team going forward into an arduous season schedule. 

One of the major goals for this game is for the Cats to find another offensive producer to compete with Boston College’s well-rounded attacking unit. Another key area for the squad is gaining draw controls as the Eagles’ circle game is one of their specialties. These factors will ultimately make or break the contest for the squad.

Defensively, NU returns graduate student defender Ally Palermo and senior midfielder Allie Berkery. These two central players will be the backbone of the Cats’ defense, especially inside the eight. Although NU usually plays a backer-defensive zone, they will have to adjust with the Eagles’ past fast ball movement. This showdown will give the squad some room to improve and grow, with this being both teams’ first matchups of the year. 

Saturday’s contest will be the first of several all-out battles for the Cats, but the team’s 2021 season proved the team is ready for the fight.

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