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: Epstein: Izzy Scane’s legacy extends far beyond any goal tally

Graduate+student+attacker+Izzy+Scane+hugs+sophomore+attacker+Madison+Taylor+after+breaking+the+NCAA+Division+I+career+goals+record+against+Denver+Sunday+afternoon.
Henry Frieman/The Daily Northwestern
Graduate student attacker Izzy Scane hugs sophomore attacker Madison Taylor after breaking the NCAA Division I career goals record against Denver Sunday afternoon.

Mere moments after graduate student attacker Izzy Scane wrapped up a postgame interview in College Park, Maryland, more than a dozen youth lacrosse players swarmed the reigning Tewaaraton winner. Scane signed autographs, took selfies and talked shop with the flurry of young athletes hoping to one day trod a similar path.

“Help her out,” coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said with a chuckle to one of Northwestern’s media coordinators, but the eventual NCAA Division I career goals queen appeared content holding court in one of the sport’s grandest meccas.

Just like when she made time for a young fan in the Raleigh-Durham International Airport Starbucks after capturing the 2023 national championship in Cary, North Carolina, Scane delayed the celebration of knocking off a bitter conference rival to interact with the sport’s next generation.

Five weeks later, the inevitable became reality as Scane shattered Charlotte North’s career goals tally in Sunday’s NCAA tournament second-round victory against Denver.

The fate seemed a near-certainty once the attacker elected to use her final year of eligibility to chase a second national championship. Northwestern fan Cathy Dunlap (Weinberg ’77) began counting down the goals on a piece of paper early in the season in anticipation of the milestone.

But Scane’s legacy cannot be defined or limited by an exorbitant goal figure. With the COVID-19 years soon nearing their end, it’s tough to picture another scorer exceeding No. 27’s lofty career total — and her impact on the sport spans nationwide.

The story has been written countless times, though Scane provides a new iteration whenever she steps on the field. 

A wide-eyed lacrosse fanatic from Clarkston, Michigan, Scane watched the Wildcats wreak havoc on the national scene and dreamed of one day donning the purple and white. She played her club ball in New England with Mass Elite, crossing paths with several future teammates.

“We all came to Northwestern because we knew the legacy of Kelly and of Northwestern and how great they’ve been in the past,” Scane said. “It’s been really cool to see all the hard work through the years before us and all the girls that have been here for years really coming to a head.”

Graduate student attacker Izzy Scane won the Tewaaraton Award in 2023. (Henry Frieman/The Daily Northwestern)

Initially cut from the U.S. U19 National Team in 2018, Scane swiftly showcased her transcendent ability, earning a spot on the squad and a gold medal the following summer.

She assumed the bona fide scoring sensation role from Selena Lasota in 2020 and never looked back — until a fall-ball torn ACL suffered against Notre Dame sidelined Scane for the entire 2022 season.

Could that have marked the end of the legend that is Isabelle Rae Scane? Not a chance.

“As much as an ACL injury sucks, it really lets you rest, and that lets you get a new appreciation for what you have,” Scane said following her team’s national championship romp of Boston College.

Often a leader by example, Scane put forth a campaign for the ages in 2023, spearheading NU’s first national championship run since 2012. The Tewaaraton and Honda Award soon followed, along with a trip to the ESPYs. However, Scane will be the first to credit her teammates for her boundless individual success.

A trophy case cannot capture how she has changed the game. The sixth-year helped Amonte Hiller reignite a dormant dynasty. A proven winner, Scane elevates her game when the stakes are highest — and her 2023 NCAA Tournament run left no doubt of her pure dominance.

“It’s really special to see her do what she does within the confines of our team,” Amonte Hiller said after Scane snapped the program career points record against Central Michigan on March 3. “Izzy lifts up all the other players, and they also lift up her.”

Nearly every game Scane and her teammates have played in Evanston has sold out this season. It’s a spectacle whenever the ’Cats come to town, and record-shattering attendance tends to follow.

Twenty-four hundred saw NU take down Maryland in April, and more than 1,500 fans braved frigid February conditions to catch the ’Cats’ clash with Boston College in Chestnut Hill.

With youth players forming a large chunk of the games’ spectators, they have the chance to watch their idols go to battle on a near weekly basis. These girls often don a plethora of jerseys and merchandise, many of which boast No. 27’s likeness.

“It’s really cool to come say hi to girls that have Izzy Scane shirts or Erin Coykendall shirts on,” Scane said. “It’s cool to see the effect that just a small group of girls that don’t think they necessarily deserve the credit can do to younger generations.”

Graduate student attacker Izzy Scane gears up for Northwestern’s second-round matchup against Denver. (Henry Frieman/The Daily Northwestern)

Like Taylor Thornton and North in Texas, Scane serves as a pioneer for the game’s growth in the Midwest. A Michigan native playing the part of the NCAA’s top performer is not only a statistical anomaly, but it provides a platform for athletes in nontraditional lacrosse hotbeds to strive for greatness.

In the North Shore area and beyond, a Scane effect of sorts has captured young fans’ wonder. Young players wear Scane jerseys to practice and look to emulate her patented dodge package and scoring touch.

A record fell Sunday, and it was a long time coming. However, Scane cannot merely be considered a phenomenal scorer of unparalleled proportions. The quiet-natured girl from the Midwest whose play made her the center of attention commands significant plaudits for her role as an ambassador of the sport.

Many young women will now pick up a lacrosse stick — if they haven’t already — because of Scane. Even if her record should one day fall, the attacking phenom has etched her name in immortality.

Email: [email protected]

X: @jakeepste1n

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Lacrosse: Northwestern’s Erin Coykendall nears storied college career’s conclusion

Northwestern’s Taylor, Scane named Tewaaraton Finalists

Lacrosse: Scane, Amonte Hiller garner Big Ten individual honors

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