Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Rapid Recap: No. 8 Notre Dame 14, No. 1 Northwestern 10

Daily file photo by Angeli Mittal
Graduate student attacker Izzy Scane runs for a ground ball during last season’s game against Notre Dame.

Exactly one year ago, graduate student attacker Izzy Scane scored 10 goals in Ryan Fieldhouse to spearhead her team to superiority in the battle of the Midwest’s preeminent powers. Now, bragging rights were once again up for grabs in a heated ACC-Big Ten clash.

Six days removed from a season-opening victory against Syracuse, No. 1 Northwestern hit the road for a Friday faceoff against high-flying No. 8 Notre Dame. Coach Kelly Amonte Hiller’s squad had won six of the last seven matchups with coach Christine Halfpenny’s group.

While the Wildcats (1-1, 0-0 Big Ten) appeared to hit cruise control early in the contest, the Fighting Irish (3-0, 0-0 ACC)  fended off their highly-touted invaders to secure a 14-10 upset victory. Friday’s result marked the hosts’ first ever upset of a No. 1 ranked opponent.

Just 78 seconds into the game, Notre Dame midfielder Kasey Choma had a sure-fire chance before a half-empty cage. However, graduate student goalkeeper Molly Laliberty leapt across the pipes to deny Choma’s effort.

Graduate student attacker Dylan Amonte opened the scoring tally for the ‘Cats after six scoreless minutes. Scane and graduate student attacker Erin Coykendall added conversions to put NU ahead 3-0 in the first frame’s final three and a half minutes.

Although the ‘Cats appeared firmly in the driver’s seat, Notre Dame attacker Jackie Wolak drew one back for the hosts with just under 90 seconds remaining in the quarter. Wolak followed up a subsequent goal from attacker Madison Ahern to even the score at three-apiece after one period.

Choma’s behind-the-back brilliance brought the Fighting Irish in front 4-3 — NU’s first deficit this season. While Scane and graduate student midfielder each nabbed a goal, Notre Dame attacker Abby Maichin answered the bell on both occasions to hand her team a 6-5 lead with 5:32 left in the half.

After Scane found Coykendall for an equalizer, Ahern and Fighting Irish midfielder Kelly Denes grabbed consecutive scores to cement an 8-6 halftime advantage for Notre Dame.

Once the second half commenced, sophomore attacker Madison Taylor split the difference on a free-position chance down Broadway. Amonte appeared to land the tying blow toward the third quarter’s midway point, but the officials waved it off.

More than 10 minutes after Taylor’s goal, Fighting Irish attacker Arden Tierney spun into a sidearmed snipe to stretch Notre Dame’s lead to two, but junior midfielder Emerson Bohlig scored her first goal of the season at an essential juncture to cut the margin to 9-8 entering the final 15 minutes.

Three minutes and three seconds into the fourth quarter, Taylor found twine to tie the tilt at nine. The sophomore then found junior defender Sammy White in transition to propel the ‘Cats back to a 10-9 lead.

Just when NU seemed primed to prowl, Fighting Irish midfielder Keelin Schlaegete, Wolak and Ahern scored three straight goals to give Notre Dame a 12-10 advantage with 5 minutes and 29 seconds to play.

As the ‘Cats entered a late player-down scenario, Wolak whipped in a circus shot to extend the Fighting Irish lead to three goals — an insurmountable advantage to overcome in crunch time.

Here are three takeaways from NU’s road loss to Notre Dame.

1. Fighting Irish’s big three erases 13 minutes of superiority

Although Notre Dame launched a legion of shots toward Laliberty’s goal, the ‘Cats held the Fighting Irish attack in check during the game’s opening 13 minutes. Notre Dame had scored 43 goals in its first eight quarters this season, but the ACC contenders appeared to hit a roadblock.

Scane and Coykendall looked primed for another point outburst en route to a road rout, while the NU defense locked in to stymying each Fighting Irish weapon.

Then, Wolak, Ahern and Choma struck as they’ve done throughout their storied collegiate careers. The dynamic trio needed just 62 seconds to make a 3-0 deficit evaporate into thin air. In a game of runs, such dynamic firepower swifty shifted momentum to the home side.

Wolak scored a pair of quickfire conversions, Ahern added one sandwiched in between her teammate’s tallies and Choma played the role of a proverbial point guard. Suddenly, Notre Dame was on the frontfoot.

In the end, Wolak’s heroics ruled the night, as her production propelled a major upset.

2. Second quarter draw troubles symptomatic of shifting tides

Amonte Hiller’s draw trio won the draw control battle in last week’s Syracuse showdown, but she said there were concerns about the group’s struggles in short spurts.

During the first quarter, the Fighting Irish held a slight advantage in the circle, corralling four draw controls to the visitors’ three. Amonte Hiller rotated the Smith sisters as draw taker Friday night, leaving junior midfielder Serafina DeMunno on the sideline.

Notre Dame broke matters open in the second frame, hauling in six draw controls and limiting the ‘Cats to just three. Denes dominated the possessional battle and helped her squad take a two-goal advantage over the defending national champions into the halftime break.

Circle problems persisted and compounded for Amonte Hiller’s squad during the second half, serving a stark contrast from last week’s production.

3. Richmond contingent strong on both sides

After an NCAA Tournament appearance that culminated in Chapel Hill, Richmond bade farewell to two of the nation’s most sought after transfer prospects this summer. Frank and Tierney combined for 184 points in 2023, but now they’d line up against one another for the first time in their collegiate careers.

Both Amonte Hiller and Halfpenny are strategic players in the transfer portal. Neither loads up on a flurry of transfers, instead they look to find missing puzzle pieces that mesh with their established systems. 

While the Fighting Irish landed Tierney, Frank took her talents lakeside. Frank and Tierney each found the scoresheet Friday night and played vital roles in their respective teams’ quest for a statement early season result.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @jakeepste1n

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