Lacrosse: Izzy Scane’s 10-goal heroics carry No. 5 Northwestern over No. 14 Notre Dame


Angeli Mittal/Daily Senior Staffer

Graduate student attacker Izzy Scane runs for a ground ball at Ryan Fieldhouse. Scane’s 10 goal performance earned the Wildcats their first win of the season Thursday.

Jake Epstein, Assistant Sports Editor

The Midwest’s preeminent programs clashed in a Thursday evening tilt, as No. 5 Northwestern searched for a bounce-back victory in its home opener against No. 14 Notre Dame. The Wildcats (1-1,0-0 Big Ten) capitalized off a packed Ryan Fieldhouse and defeated the Fighting Irish (1-1,0-0 ACC) 18-14.

Notre Dame corralled the opening draw and held possession in the offensive zone for over a minute before Fighting Irish midfielder Kasey Choma converted from close range to give her team an early 1-0 lead.

Sophomore midfielder Samantha Smith quickly punched back on a free position shot, knotting the contest at one. NU rushed into the lead after sophomore midfielder and defender Samantha White buried a free position shot with eight minutes to play in the first frame.

Less than a minute later, graduate student attacker Izzy Scane added her sixth goal of the season to extend the Cats’ advantage to 3-1.

While Notre Dame peppered 10 first-quarter shots compared to NU’s five, the stout defense and graduate student goalkeeper Molly Laliberty’s heroics between the pipes kept the contest at 3-1 after 15 minutes.

Three minutes into the second frame, Fighting Irish midfielder Hannah Dorney halved the deficit. Notre Dame continued pushing for the leveler, but Laliberty stymied a series of free position and point-blank shots with several acrobatic stops out of the top drawer.

Choma then added her second tally of the evening with 3:53 to play in the second period, evening the score at 3-3.

Just when the Lake Show needed its conductor, the Scane Train left the station. The graduate student star collected the ball under duress in front of the Fighting Irish net, hit a spin cycle and fired home her second goal of the contest.

The Cats worked the ball back into the offensive zone shortly thereafter. Senior attacker Erin Coykendall striped a powerful shot, putting NU in front 5-3 with 2:28 left in the half.

Despite a slow second-quarter start, the Cats’ attack fired on all cylinders late. Graduate student midfielder Elle Hansen scored the third unanswered NU goal, forcing Notre Dame coach Christine Halfpenny to call a timeout with 1:39 left in the second frame.

Off the pause, Choma completed her hat trick, and the first half closed at 6-4.

Choma’s one-woman show continued as she tallied her fourth goal of the contest in the first minute after halftime, cutting the Cats’ lead to 6-5.

However, NU appeared capable of responding to every Fighting Irish advance with a strike of equal ferocity. Nearing the period’s three-minute mark, Coykendall found Scane on a free-position play and she made no mistake on the shot. Seconds later, Smith converted from the eight-meter, stretching the margin to 8-5.

While Choma notched another score, freshman midfielder Madison Taylor nullified her efforts with a goal of her own, courtesy of a Scane helper. Showcasing her versatility as a passer and a scorer, Scane then tallied her sixth point of the evening on an unassisted off-balance shot that left Notre Dame goalkeeper Lilly Callahan no chance.

“The offense played really well together,” coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said. “(Scane) really picked her spots and finished when she needed to.”

After Fighting Irish attacker Jackie Wolak cut one back, Scane racked up two consecutive scores, sending the Cats into the final frame with a 12-7 edge.

Wolak opened the fourth quarter scoring tally with her second goal of the contest, but Scane’s unplayable form carried on to the tune of a seventh goal. NU then drew three free position attempts, and Taylor proved that the third time’s the charm as the reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Week calmly slotted her second goal of the game.

With the result firmly in the Cats’ back pocket, Scane torched Notre Dame for three more scores, tying her career-high mark of 10 goals. Amonte Hiller proceeded to empty her bench, subbing in a slew of players who saw their first action of the young season.

One such debutant was freshman attacker Carli Fleisher, who scored her first collegiate goal on a free position shot.

“She got the opportunity — she put it away,” Amonte Hiller said. “She’s a great player and I’m glad she got the opportunity today.”

The Fighting Irish added in a flurry of late goals but when the dust settled, NU pulled off an 18-14 win.The Cats will hope to carry momentum into a Sunday home matchup against No. 3 Boston College.

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