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 downs Rutgers 22-11 in Senior Night spectacle

Henry Frieman/The Daily Northwestern
Northwestern sophomore attacker Madison Taylor weaves toward the goal during the Wildcats’ 22-11 win over Rutgers Saturday. Taylor and graduate student attacker Izzy Scane each scored a team-high four goals.

Entering Saturday’s contest, No. 3 Northwestern had won 25 straight games inside Ryan Fieldhouse, the facility it calls home in the wintry months when it is too frigid to play outdoors, amid a 39-game home winning streak. 

After the final buzzer punctuated a resounding 22-11 Wildcats (10-2, 2-1 Big Ten) win over Rutgers (5-6, 0-4 Big Ten) during its final indoor game this season, the dominant home stretch extended to 40 straight wins.

Coach Kelly Amonte Hiller’s team has manufactured a home-field advantage to another level, and it is an advantage NU hopes to take outside to Lanny and Sharon Martin Stadium when it faces Ohio State on April 13 for its next game in Evanston. 

“We love the Ryan Fieldhouse,” Amonte Hiller said. “It’s truly a special venue to play lacrosse.”

The ’Cats dominated Saturday’s matchup from the outset. With 11 minutes remaining in the first frame, sophomore attacker Madison Taylor orbited the 8-meter line before cutting inward and burying the game’s first goal. Taylor scored four goals against the Scarlet Knights, tying graduate student attacker Izzy Scane’s team-high.

Rutgers answered shortly afterward with a goal of its own from graduate student midfielder Cassidy Spilis, who leads the squad in goals scored with 46. Spilis scored five of 11 visiting goals during Saturday’s tilt. 

“She’s just unreal, to be honest,” Amonte Hiller said of Spilis. “I thought she played really well, despite the pressure we were putting on her… just kudos to her. She’s an incredible talent.”

NU countered Spilis’ offensive firepower by firing rockets at the scarlet-and-white team’s cage early and often. Scane scored her first goal with 8:37 left in the first period, earning the ’Cats a 2-1 lead. Though Rutgers answered, tying the game at 2-2 midway through the quarter, Scane fed Taylor for a goal to retake the lead before scoring a pair of her own. 

NU held a 5-3 lead by the end of the first quarter and did not relent for the remainder of the game. A 5-0 Cats’ run pushed them into the driver’s seat before graduate transfer attacker Mary Schumar stuffed two goals into the cage.

“(Schumar) just worked every day, put her head down, had a positive attitude and just went out there — and when she got her opportunity, she really took advantage of it,” Amonte Hiller said. “She has infectious energy on the field, and we’re excited to see her continue to develop and make an impact in our program.”

Schumar and two other graduate students — defender Alia Marshall and midfielder Lindsey Frank — were honored alongside six of their teammates following Saturday’s game for NU’s Senior Night. The seniors honored Saturday were defenders Kendall Halpern, Natalie Lopez and Carleigh Mahoney; midfielders Claire Snyder and Hannah Johnson; and attacker Leah Holmes. 

The ’Cats took a 14-5 lead into halftime, and NU stretched its lead to 10 midway through the third frame, triggering the running clock and cruising to a 22-11 victory.

Junior midfielder Samantha Smith and her sister, freshman midfielder Madison Smith, combined for 13 draw controls –– one shy of Rutgers’s total of 14 draw controls. 

Junior defender Sammy White, who returned from injury after missing six games, pulled down another two draws, as did Frank and junior midfielder Emerson Bohlig. The ’Cats corralled 23 total draw controls and outshot the Scarlet Knights 42-27.

NU must continue its torrential offensive attack as it heads to College Park, Maryland, on April 6 to take on No. 1 Maryland–– one of its biggest tests this season.

“They play extremely well at home… they’re obviously a tremendous program –– so well coached –– and they have a lot of weapons on both ends of the field,” Amonte Hiller said of Maryland. “So we expect a great challenge. It’s a great rivalry, and we’re really grateful to have that opportunity.”

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X: @HenryFrieman

Related Stories:

Lacrosse: No. 3 Northwestern’s Sammy White makes long-awaited return in 22-11 victory over Rutgers

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

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

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