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. 1 Northwestern bludgeons Ohio State 19-10 in penultimate regular season test

Anna Watson/The Daily Northwestern
Graduate student attacker Dylan Amonte drives toward the Ohio State cage Saturday afternoon. Amonte scored a career-high six goals against the Buckeyes.

Before No. 1 Northwestern marched into Martin Stadium for its final regular season home game against Ohio State Saturday, a special guest greeted the team in the locker room: Former New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who donned Lake Show garb on the home sideline.

“The cool part of having him here is for our players to see how humble he is,” coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said. “We really preach that humility to our players, and to see someone so successful in his whole life and really has built his whole career, it’s just an honor to have him on the sideline.”

While Belichick’s attendance left graduate student attacker Dylan Amonte and her teammates “starstruck,” the Norwell, Massachusetts, native still scored a career-high six goals to help the Wildcats (12-2, 4-1 Big Ten) secure a pivotal 19-10 conference win over the Buckeyes (7-7, 1-4 Big Ten)

Although she didn’t register a single point in her previous two contests, Amonte said she entered Saturday’s matchup with her head held high.

“I left the Maryland game pretty happy with how I played, regardless of scoring goals, I feel like my role on the team is to get other people open,” Amonte said. “In a game like this where I get more opportunities, especially against a team that plays a zone, it’s nice to put my shots away.”

NU swiftly piled on a barrage of goals after junior midfielder Samantha Smith pulled down the opening draw control. 

Graduate student attackers Izzy Scane and Mary Schumar, graduate student midfielder Lindsey Frank, sophomore attacker Madison Taylor and Amonte each breached the Ohio State defense to help the ’Cats jump out to an 8-2 first-quarter advantage.

“When we play together, we’re unstoppable,” Amonte said. “We clearly have some of the best attackers in the country.”

With graduate student attacker Erin Coykendall directing offensive traffic and making her presence known on the ride, NU appeared primed for a boat race adjacent Lake Michigan. Coykendall poured in a pair of scores during the second frame, and the ’Cats held an 11-5 halftime lead.

Although Taylor took just 33 seconds to score the second half’s opening goal, the Buckeyes launched a 4-1 run to cut the deficit to just four goals entering the final period. Behind attackers Jamie Lasda and Kate Tyack, Ohio State now held the matchup’s momentum.

This marked the end of graduate student goalkeeper Molly Laliberty’s afternoon, as Amonte Hiller subbed in junior goalkeeper Cara Nugent. Laliberty faced 13 shots on goal and surrendered nine goals.

“We just needed a little more focus, a little more intensity — kind of going back to Northwestern defense,” senior defender Kendall Halpern said of the third frame. “We know what we can do, and (if we) play Northwestern Lacrosse, we’re gonna be okay.”

In the span of just three minutes and nine seconds, Amonte buried three goals, while Taylor and junior midfielder Emerson Bohlig both notched finishes to turn the game on its head. An apparent close-run fight to the finish shifted into a blowout at a mere moment’s notice.

Amonte said the five-goal flurry was a testament to the attack’s unity.

“Today we — especially in that fourth quarter — came out, and we’re getting each other open and playing for each other,” Amonte said. “That is when we’re at our best.”

The ’Cats proved too formidable of a scoring threat for the Buckeyes to stymie, as Coykendall, Taylor, Amonte and Scane each recorded at least five points in Saturday’s nine-goal victory.

With No. 4 Maryland falling to No. 24 Penn State Saturday morning, NU will control its own destiny in next Sunday’s Big Ten finale against No. 6 Michigan. A win will shore up an outright conference regular season title and the Big Ten Tournament’s No. 1 seed.

“That was the goal — after the loss to Penn State early on in the Big Ten season, we just really wanted to control what we can control,” Amonte Hiller said. “We couldn’t control the other teams, but we knew we could control what we had to. I’m really pleased with how the girls came out today and just attacked this moment.”

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