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The Daily Northwestern

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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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Lacrosse: No. 3 Northwestern’s big-three rises to the occasion in 14-11 victory over No. 1 Boston College

Daily file photo by Henry Frieman
Graduate student attacker Erin Coykendall winds up for a free-position shot against Marquette on Feb. 19. Coykendall secured a first-quarter hat trick at Boston College Thursday.

More than two years ago, coach Kelly Amonte Hiller’s squad traveled to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts to face the nation’s No. 1 ranked opponent in the 2022 season opener. Recovering from a torn ACL, then-senior attacker Izzy Scane could only watch her teammates fall into a 6-1 first-quarter hole and stumble to an 18-9 defeat.

Apart from midfielder Jill Girardi’s four-goal flurry, the visitors struggled to generate any attacking momentum. That blowout’s plaudits belonged to eventual back-to-back Tewaaraton Award-winning attacker Charlotte North, who tallied seven goals and an assist.

However, with North two years removed from her glory days at No. 1 Boston College and holding a commentary role during Thursday’s tilt, No. 3 Northwestern proved the aggressors in the 2023 National Championship’s rematch.

Behind their star-studded scoring trio of Scane, graduate student attacker Erin Coykendall and sophomore attacker Madison Taylor, the Wildcats (4-1, 0-0 Big Ten) followed a full-throttle first-period performance with a wire-to-wire 14-11 victory against the Eagles (5-1, 1-0 ACC). 

The team’s big three combined for 13 points during their third consecutive win against Boston College — and their second consecutive conquest of the nation’s top ranked foe.

Coykendall commanded the opening five minutes, tallying two goals and posing a significant threat in front of the Eagle cage. She and Scane’s attacking ken exploited small defensive gaps and produced devastating results for the hosts.

Toward the first quarter’s midway point, Scane found the back of the net and put NU ahead 3-0, but Boston College goalkeeper Shea Dolce denied an almost sure-fire Scane conversion to keep her side afloat.

Although Eagle attacker Kayla Martello notched consecutive goals to bring the game back within one with five minutes and 27 seconds to play in the opening frame, graduate student attacker Dylan Amonte, Taylor and Scane quickly nullified Martello’s run.

Following a perfectly executed pick courtesy of junior midfielder Samantha Smith, Coykendall launched a sidearmed snipe beyond Dolce’s stick to cement a 7-2 lead after 15 minutes of play.

Boston College attacker Rachel Clark swiftly set a second-quarter tone with a goal just 41 seconds into the frame. After Taylor tallied her second goal of the day, Eagle attacker Emma LoPinto and Clark nabbed consecutive conversions to cut Boston College’s deficit to three goals entering the halftime break.

With wind-chills plummeting into the 20s, both teams exchanged a series of third-quarter blows that left the showdown’s spoils up for grabs. Carrying an 11-7 advantage in the period’s final minute, Taylor held possession behind the net. The sophomore dodged between defenders and buried a last-minute goal, sending the ‘Cats ahead by five entering the final 15 minutes.

While LoPinto cut the Eagle deficit to 13-9 on a high-to-low finish with just under seven minutes remaining, NU’s veteran superstar put the result to bed. Capitalizing off graduate student midfielder Lindsey Frank’s nifty feed, Scane let loose a leap-day-dagger to extend the margin to five.

Despite Boston College’s late pair of scores, the ‘Cats held on to knock the Eagles off their undefeated perch. 

NU will return home Sunday to face Central Michigan in Ryan Fieldhouse. The winless Chippewas (0-6, 0-0 Mid-American Conference) hung tight with No. 19 Colorado for three quarters Thursday, but they ultimately fell 13-7.

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Twitter: @jakeepste1n

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