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Lacrosse: NU wins first Big Ten championship with sweep of No. 9 Maryland

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The dominance continues.

John Konstantaras/Northwestern Athletics

After sweeping No. 9 Maryland, third-ranked Northwestern women’s lacrosse moved to a perfect 9-0 on the season and earned at least a share of the Big Ten regular season championship. The title is the first in program history and earns it the one-seed and a first-round bye in the conference tournament.

Saturday, the Wildcats returned outdoors to Martin Stadium and thrashed the Terrapins 25-12. The Wildcats’ 25 goals is the most allowed by Maryland in program history.

Junior attacker Izzy Scane continues to be a true force for Northwestern, and earned her third Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week award of the season. She recorded nine goals in the first game and five in the second, moving her season total to an eye-popping 56.

In the first game against the Terrapins, senior Lauren Gilbert contributed six goals and seven draw controls. Senior Jill Girardi notched a new career high with 10 draw controls. The ‘Cats offense proved simply too much for the ninth-ranked team in the country.

Monday’s affair followed a different trajectory. After jumping out to a quick 3-1 lead, the Terps went on a 6-3 run to take a 7-6 lead with 47 seconds left in the first half. Then NU sophomore Erin Coykendall scored a highlight reel-worthy behind the back goal to tie the game right before the horn. That score gave Northwestern all the momentum it needed, as it scored 10 straight goals to open the second half and cruised to a 20-10 victory.

Girardi broke her career-high 10 draw controls from the previous match again, recording 12 this time. Scane scored five more times, and graduate student Sammy Mueller added four goals.

The ‘Cats have three remaining regular season games, including a pair against Michigan and a matchup against Ohio State, whom they beat 23-7 in their season opener. Then it’s off to the postseason, which starts with the Big Ten Tournament, which will be held at Penn State.