Rapid Recap: No. 2 Northwestern 20, Stanford 9


Daily file photo by Joanne Haner

Graduate student attacker Izzy Scane looks to attack the goal. Scane scored four goals and registered three assists against Stanford Sunday.

Jake Epstein, Assistant Sports Editor

Three days removed from a Baltimore beatdown of Johns Hopkins Thursday, No. 2 Northwestern looked to unleash a Sunday smackdown of Stanford in Ryan Fieldhouse.

The Wildcats (10-1, 2-0 Big Ten) took an early Cardinal (4-5, 2-1 PAC-12) conversion as a wakeup call, igniting an offensive firestorm to extend their winning streak to 10 games.

Stanford attacker Ashley Humphrey broke the 0-0 tie on a free-position shot, but senior attacker Erin Coykendall quickly leveled the contest from the eight-meter and found graduate student attacker Izzy Scane for the go-ahead goal.

Swiftly thereafter, the floodgates opened for NU.

Freshman midfielder Madison Taylor, graduate student midfielder Elle Hansen, graduate student attacker Hailey Rhatigan, Scane and Coykendall each notched goals to cap an 11-0 first quarter run for the Cats.

In the period’s final moments, Taylor crashed the crease on a free-position play and slotted home her hat trick goal, activating the running clock and settling an 11-1 scoreline after 15 minutes.

Coykendall continued to cause all sorts of conundrums for the Cardinal and tallied her fourth goal of the afternoon with 13:55 remaining in the second quarter. After Taylor and Scane poured in two more scores, Stanford midfielder Ailish Kelly converted a crafty behind-the-back effort to stop the 14-0 NU run.

However, Coykendall answered with a goal in the half’s closing seconds, making the margin 15-2.

Both teams traded goals to open the third quarter before Scane and Rhatigan tallied back-to-back scores. Surprisingly, the Cardinal then kept the Cats off the board for nearly nine minutes, and Stanford midfielder Katy Gilbert notched a goal with 6:02 to play in the third period.

Exactly six minutes later, Taylor beat the clock and Cardinal goalkeeper Kara Rahaim to extend the edge to 19-4 heading into the final frame.

Stanford scored the first two goals of the fourth quarter, but Rhatigan sent a free-position shot to the top of the cage to put NU in front 20-6.

Amonte Hiller subsequently reshuffled her lineup, and the Cats conceded three consecutive scores to settle a 20-9 victory.

Here’s three takeaways from NU’s home victory over Stanford.


1. The Cats face another member of Amonte Hiller’s coaching tree

NU took on former assistant coach Tim McCormack and his Johns Hopkins squad in its last outing in Baltimore. And three days later, Amonte Hiller’s team welcomed home another familiar face.

Cardinal coach Danielle Spencer won three national championships in her playing career in Evanston and later returned as an assistant coach on Amonte Hiller’s staff for four seasons.

With NU holding a 10-1 series record prior to Sunday’s showdown, Spencer looked to flip a lopsided historical script — but the task proved too tall for her team.

2. Dominant first quarter display puts the matchup out of reach

Stanford entered the game a week removed from an 18-8 rout of Oregon and appeared to pick up right where it left off on Humphrey’s early score.

While the Cardinal found initial success in the draw circle, sophomore midfielder Samantha Smith quickly overtook command in favor of the Cats.

Once Coykendall kickstarted the NU attack two minutes into the contest, the Stanford defense appeared helpless to stop its high powered Big Ten foe.

After Coykendall and Scane connected for the Cats’ second score of the day, the Cardinal keyed in on the nation’s leading scorer, opening gaps for cutting Cats to exploit.Taylor and Rhatigan piled on a pair of quick scores, and NU picked apart each piece of its opponent’s defensive scheme.

With 15 shots on goal, five scorers and an 8-4 draw control advantage, the Lake Show lit an offensive firestorm that guaranteed a 10th straight win.

3. Erin Coykendall commandeers the winning effort

Following a nine-point outing last time out, Coykendall elevated her scoring exploits to new heights against Stanford on Sunday.

The senior attacker put the Cats on the board in the first frame and headlined an offensive clinic for her team. Through just 15 minutes, Coykendall tallied three goals and three assists.

She added two more goals in the second frame, but appeared a bit shaken up after her second effort. However, Coykendall looked fresh out of the halftime break, firing home her sixth goal of the afternoon — just 50 seconds into the third period.

In a game where Scane registered seven points and Taylor tallied six, Coykendall’s nine-point effort shined brightest.

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Twitter: @jakeepste1n

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