What’s better than a Friday night, top-5 matchup in Ryan Fieldhouse?
A win, and the Lakeshow fans getting to see Izzy Scane drop eight goals on one of the toughest defenses in the country, of course.
Undefeated and fourth-ranked Stony Brook came to Evanston to try and put their program to the test, something they were not able to do last season, as they fell 16-12 on March 10 of last year. The Long Island program, led by junior attacker Ellie Masera, seems to be creeping closer to cracking the top five each season. They did so earlier this week, climbing the rankings from seventh to fourth after taking down ranked teams in Stanford, Yale and Michigan.
The Seawolves are known for their incredibly physical and gritty style of play, and this matchup was exactly that, with a total of 10 yellow cards given out. Their defense is among the nation’s best, only allowing an average of 7.75 goals per game.
While Stony Brook struck first and were able to jump out to a 2-1 lead early, a first quarter hat trick by Scane and a highlight reel behind the back from shot from Erin Coykendall gave the ‘Cats the lead back.
Erin Coykendall.— Northwestern Lax (@NULax) March 11, 2023
That's it. That's the tweet. pic.twitter.com/PAzkq5VwXw
The teams traded goals, but ultimately Northwestern jumped out to a 8-5 lead going into halftime.
Both teams benefitted from woman-up advantages during this game, with six of the total 21 goals coming on those opportunities.
This game also marked the first time two of the most prolific goal-scorers in women’s lacrosse took the field together in Scane and Hailey Rhatigan. While Scane sat out last weekend’s games against Vanderbilt and Youngstown State, Rhatigan got her first starts against those two teams. They combined for 9 goals and four assists on Friday.
Izzy Scane Hailey Rhatigan— Northwestern Lax (@NULax) March 11, 2023
NU 3, SB 2 | 1Q pic.twitter.com/lckft6Bnfp
Last season at Mercer, Rhatigan had 93 goals and 28 assists, while in Scane’s last full season in 2021 she had 98 goals and 26 assists.
In only five games, Scane has a whopping 35 goals, and in only three for Rhatigan she has nine goals and four assists. Scane is second in the nation in goals, only one behind James Madison’s Isabella Peterson — who has played in all eight games for the Dukes.
The physicality grew in the second half, and Northwestern’s defense did a great job of limiting the Seawolves to three second-half goals, while the ‘Cats notched five to bring the final score to 13-8.
Stony Brook ended up winning the draw control battle 15-9, with Samantha Smith collecting four of those for Northwestern and Masera tallying nine for the Seawolves.
This caliber of lacrosse will be back in Ryan Fieldhouse twice this week when Northwestern opens up Big Ten play against No. 19 Michigan on Thursday night, and then hosts undefeated No. 1 North Carolina on Sunday afternoon.