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: No. 3 Northwestern secures 16-10 bounce-back victory at No. 13 North Carolina

Daily file photo by Henry Frieman
Graduate student midfielder Jane Hansen darts up the field against Denver. Hansen tallied four caused turnovers in Chapel Hill Monday.

Midway through the fourth quarter in No. 3 Northwestern’s Monday evening Chapel Hill crusade, coach Kelly Amonte Hiller’s team appeared primed to put the past week’s Penn State woes on the backburner with a 14-5 lead over No. 13 North Carolina.

The hosts launched a last-ditch salvage mission, but the comeback push proved too little, too late.

Although the Tar Heels (7-4, 3-2 ACC) proceeded to pile on five consecutive conversions in less than five minutes, the Wildcats (9-2, 1-1 Big Ten) fended off the late surge and secured a 16-10 victory. The result marked NU’s first win at North Carolina since 2011.

Monday’s matchup was won and lost on the draw, as Amonte Hiller’s circle crew commanded the game’s flow. Whenever North Carolina looked poised to make a backbreaking run, the visitors deflated the Tar Heels’ momentum with key draw victories.

After leading the ’Cats to a 20-10 draw control advantage last Friday to no avail in University Park, Pennsylvania, junior midfielder Samantha Smith pulled down a career-high 14 draws. Smith and sophomore attacker Madison Taylor wreaked havoc in the circle throughout Monday’s matchup, ending with a 23-6 draw margin.

Graduate student attacker Izzy Scane tied her season-high goal tally with seven finishes, pacing a high-octane offensive firestorm. Scane scored from seemingly every angle and looked far more lively on the ride than she had in previous contests. 

Complementing Scane’s sensational shooting show, graduate student attacker Dylan Amonte poured in four goals, while Taylor nabbed a hat trick. Despite her bread and butter coming from the eight-meter this season, Taylor went 0-of-2 on free-position shots.

On the feeding front, graduate student attacker Erin Coykendall continued her delightful distributive display, dishing out four assists to go along with a lone score.

Coykendall missed portions of last Friday’s contest after taking a shot to the midsection, and NU will need its proverbial attacking quarterback healthy and firing on all cylinders during conference play’s crux.

Senior defender Carleigh Mahoney returned to the lineup after missing Friday’s matchup, handing the ’Cats a key defensive cog to stave off North Carolina’s deep attacking ranks. For the second consecutive game, freshman midfielder Madison Smith received a starting nod on defense.

The hosts employed a balanced attacking force, with six different Tar Heels finding twine. However, Amonte Hiller’s defense hunkered down when it mattered, pitching a second-quarter shutout to help cement a sizable advantage on the scoresheet.

While graduate student goalkeeper Molly Laliberty notched nine saves, graduate student defender Jane Hansen’s superb play in the defensive zone and between the 30s proved pivotal all evening. Hansen tallied a game-high four caused turnovers and scoped two ground balls.

Following a 1-1 road split, NU will return to Ryan Fieldhouse Saturday for a conference clash against Rutgers. Behind veteran midfielder Cassidy Spilis, the Scarlet Knights (5-5, 0-3 Big Ten) look to knock off the ’Cats for the first time since the 2022 Big Ten Tournament.

For NU, avoiding a second Big Ten loss will be essential in the team’s quest for a second consecutive regular season conference title. With No. 1 Maryland and No. 2 Michigan cruising early in the campaign, a second slipup could be fatal.

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Twitter: @jakeepste1n

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