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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Lacrosse: Izzy Scane’s season-high seven goals leads No. 1 Northwestern to conference-opening victory over No. 12 Johns Hopkins

Daily file photo by Henry Frieman
Graduate student attacker Izzy Scane holds the ball in the offensive zone. Scane scored a season-high seven goals against No. 12 Johns Hopkins Saturday.

Graduate student attacker Izzy Scane needed just 70 seconds to break the deadlock in No. 1 Northwestern’s conference-opening clash with No. 12 Hopkins Saturday. The sixth-year sensation received a feed from behind the cage, slipped by a sliding defender and fired upon the cage.

“We’ve been working a lot on getting close to the cage on shots,” Scane said. “A lot of our team likes to shoot from far out, but the more you can change where the goalie is looking and where you’re shooting from, the harder it’s going to be for them to stop it.”

Within the game’s first four and a half minutes, Scane exploited the Blue Jays’ (7-3, 0-1 Big Ten) zone on three occasions to rattle off an expeditious hat trick. After an electric start, the Wildcats (8-1, 1-0 Big Ten) attacked full-speed-ahead to secure a 14-9 victory behind Scane’s eight-point downpour.

Entering Saturday’s game, Scane had converted just 41.7% of her shots. That figure climbed to 45.7% after she relentlessly attacked her former classmate Madison Doucette’s goal.

Coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said Scane’s efficient outing with seven goals on nine attempts stemmed from deliberate preparation on the practice field, where she took a bevy of close-range repetitions with the help of assistant coaches Scott Hiller and Charlie Leonard.

“She had a real focused effort with her shooting and how she was going to attack,” Amonte Hiller said. “She came in really dialed in on what she needed to do to be successful, and she struck early and often.”

NU scored the contest’s opening six goals, expanding its margin in first quarters this season to 57-19. The ’Cats haven’t trailed entering a second period in any game this year.

For Amonte Hiller, the team’s ability to start games at a lightning-fast pace reflects a winning mentality.

“It’s a mentality of wanting to put your best effort forth from the beginning, not waiting for something to happen for you to turn up to your best effort,” Amonte Hiller said. “There (were) ebbs and flows in the game, but I was proud of the way the team responded each time.”

Although Johns Hopkins midfielder Ava Angello led a valiant second-quarter charge to bring the Blue Jays back within three goals at halftime, Saturday’s spoils were still up for grabs.

Amonte Hiller said her defense put forth a solid performance against Angello, one of the conference’s top young talents. The sophomore scored a team-high three goals for the visitors.

“She’s just a huge weapon — really tough to stop with her size and everything,” Amonte Hiller said. “We really focused on playing good team defense, and we were able to do that today.”

Graduate student goalkeeper Molly Laliberty notched four saves in a pivotal third-quarter performance, denying several attempts from the eight-meter to pitch a shutout in the period. Laliberty recorded 10 saves Saturday afternoon.

Limiting the high-octane Johns Hopkins attack to nine goals required significant commitment and effort, Amonte Hiller said.

“Hopkins is an incredible team, obviously so well coached, and their offense is really high paced,” Amonte Hiller said. “There’s a lot going on, so you have to be focused … It’s really important that we continue to have that focus going forward because our conference is really strong and we’re going to see that from week to week.”

With junior defender Sammy White missing her fourth consecutive contest due to a lower-body injury, a bevy of defensive contributors again stepped in to fill her shoes. Sophomore defender Kathryn Welch saw her highest minutes’ share of the year, and senior defenders Carleigh Mahoney and Kendall Halpern both recorded three caused turnovers.

The ‘Cats also won the battle in the circle, reeling in 16 draw controls to Johns Hopkins’ 11. Sophomore attacker Madison Taylor pulled down a game-high nine draw controls with freshman midfielder Madison Smith handling primary draw-taking duties for much of the game.

“Maddy Taylor was just dominant on the circle today,” Amonte Hiller said. “Madi Smith came in and was really fresh and able to execute. I’m really proud of her. She was able to play against Hopkins in the fall for the USA team, and I think she’s improved a lot since then.”

Now on a seven game winning streak, NU will head east for a two-game road trip, where Amonte Hiller’s squad will take on Penn State next Friday and No. 9 North Carolina March 25.

Mahoney said starting the conference slate off with a victory was the team’s ultimate goal, but there’s plenty of room for improvement. She added that the ’Cats have crafted an identity at this early juncture of the season.

“We’re gonna fight when our back (is) against the wall — we don’t give up,” Mahoney said. “Anyone can be ready for anything because this team is changing its dynamic, and everyone has something really special to offer no matter what (their) role is.”

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Twitter: @jakeepste1n

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