Lacrosse: Northwestern climbs to No. 1 national ranking


Daily file photo by Seeger Gray

Graduate student attacker Izzy Scane runs through a tunnel of teammates. Scane and the Wildcats reached the No. 1 national ranking for the first time in her career on Monday.

Jake Epstein, Assistant Sports Editor

After knocking off then-No. 12 Maryland and clinching the outright Big Ten regular-season crown Saturday, No. 1 Northwestern now sits atop the ILWomen/IWLCA rankings for the first time since February 2013. 

The Wildcats (15-1, 6-0 Big Ten) claimed the top spot Monday after previously undefeated No. 2 Syracuse dropped its final conference matchup against then-No. 5 Boston College. The Orange (15-1, 8-1 ACC) defeated NU in a season-opening thriller and held the No. 1 ranking for five consecutive weeks.

Coach Kelly Amonte Hiller’s team will begin postseason play May 4 in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal in Columbus, Ohio — where it will face the winner of the quarterfinal game between No. 19 Michigan and No. 18 Penn State. The seven-time national champion coach said the Cats’ depth has a crucial role in their continued success.

“There’s so many players that contribute to this that don’t even get in the game,” Amonte Hiller said. “Working in practice, setting scout — anytime you want a championship, it’s a team effort. It’s staying humble.”

Following the culmination of the conference tournament, NU will enter the NCAA Tournament as a likely host site and look to make its first National Championship appearance since 2012  — when the program won its seventh national title.

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Twitter: @jakeepste1n

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