Lacrosse: No. 5 Northwestern stuns No. 3 Boston College 15-14 in thrilling comeback fashion


Joanne Haner/Daily Senior Staffer

Freshman midfielder Lucy Munro looks to find a cutting teammate. Munro saw fourth quarter action against the Eagles Sunday.

Jake Epstein, Assistant Sports Editor

Just three days removed from graduate student attacker Izzy Scane’s 10-goal rout of No. 14 Notre Dame, No. 5 Northwestern prepared for a midday melee Sunday against No. 3 Boston College. In front of a sellout Ryan Fieldhouse crowd, the Wildcats (2-1,0-0 Big Ten) breached the Eagles’ (2-1, 0-0 ACC) stingy defense, defeating the national powerhouse 15-14.

“It’s just a big testament to how much work we’ve been putting in over the last couple of months,,” Scane said. “We got a lot of new tools that are amazing and a lot of returners that are filling in new roles that they weren’t in before.”

Boston College rolled through its first two contests of the season, trouncing then-No. 18 University of Southern California and No. 23 University of Massachusetts, but sophomore midfielder and defender Samantha White collected the opening draw for NU. Momentum promptly shifted when Scane picked up an early yellow card.

After the Cats fended off the player-up scenario, Eagle midfielder Belle Smith lost her defender on the spin and drew first blood for Boston College. She then doubled the lead, handing her squad a 2-0 advantage with 9:49 remaining in the primary period.

The Eagle edge threatened to extend to three, but graduate student goalkeeper Molly Laliberty made a point-blank save. Within seconds, senior attacker Dylan Amonte found graduate student midfielder Elle Hansen for NU’s opening tally.

Boston College then piled on two goals in response. Smith buried a roller behind Laliberty, but Amonte answered back from the eight-meter, settling the score at 4-2.

However, Eagle attacker Mckenna Davis converted and closed the frame at 5-2.

The potent Boston College attack kept punching in the second quarter, and Eagle midfielder Cassidy Weeks tallied the period’s first goal seconds into the frame.

Following the Boston College tally, senior attacker Erin Coykendall hit a stutter step then dodged inside, firing home a response. Amonte then scored off a feed from freshman midfielder Madison Taylor, cutting the Eagle lead to 6-4.

While Boston College hit back on attacker Jenn Medjid’s no-looker, Taylor drove towards goal and slung a powerful effort beyond the grasp of Eagle goalkeeper Rachel Hall, making the margin 7-5 just before the midway point of the quarter.

Medjid then scored her second before Amonte completed a hattrick from a free position goal.

With under a minute before the intermission, Boston College attacker Kayla Martello manufactured two late goals, cementing a 10-6 halftime gap.

Coach Kelly Amonte Hiller’s squad needed its top scorer to step up if it had any shot at a comeback.

“It took a little bit of time to make the right motions (and make) sure we were setting up on offense,” Scane said.

Scane, who battled face guards throughout the contest, answered the call. The graduate student attacker drew a free position play and buried her first goal.

Taylor’s eight-meter exploits continued, and the freshman fired home her second goal of the contest, slicing the Boston College lead to 10-8.

Minutes later, the Scane Train appeared back on the rails, as the prolific scorer ripped a powerful shot past Hall, forcing Eagle coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein to call a timeout.

“This time last year I wasn’t on the field and would’ve done anything to get (back),” Scane said. “Points just are an outcome of my team working really hard.”

Walker-Weinstein’s pause proved effective, and her players peppered several shots at Laliberty’s net before Weeks scooped a rebound and struck gold. Martello followed that up with an unassisted conversion, extending the Boston College advantage to 12-9.

Amonte’s electric afternoon continued, as she collected a Scane pass and flipped an off-balance effort into the net.

Despite the lead, Walker-Weinstein made a change in between the pipes, subbing in freshman goalkeeper Shea Dolce.

The Cats then gained a player advantage, and Taylor capitalized through tight marking, completing her hattrick and bringing the margin to 12-11 at the quarter’s close.

After NU seemingly controlled the third period from start to finish, Weeks opened the final frame scoring tally for the Eagles. But Scane drew a free position play after five minutes of end-to-end action, and she made no mistake from the eight-meter.

Scane then drew another free position play in prime position, leaving Dolce no chance, and leveling the score at 13 with 7:33 to play. Amonte followed up Scane’s score with a free position tally of her own, hurling the Cats into their first lead of the contest with six minutes to play.

“I had tears in my eyes at the end of the game,” Amonte said. “My teammates are so supportive. I (play) for them.”

Sophomore midfielder Emerson Bohlig then hit a quick burst and scored a bounce shot to extend the NU advantage, but Medjid tallied a goal, setting up 2:25 of tense action.

After a crucial Laliberty eight-meter stop, the Cats kept possession on the offensive end and killed the clock, hanging on for a 15-14 victory.

“The environment here in Ryan Fieldhouse at Wilson Field is just truly incredible,” Amonte Hiller said. “That game was a gift to our sport — back and forth and such a battle. It’s so much fun to play in, and it’s so much fun for our fans.”

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Twitter: @jakeepste1n

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