In the midst of a five-game homestand at Ryan Fieldhouse, No. 3 Northwestern cruised to 5-1 after beating Vanderbilt and Youngstown State over the weekend, 24-7 and 24-3.
While the Commodores were able to tie it 1-1 early on and then get back within two in the second quarter, they were simply no match for the Wildcats’ attack.
In graduate transfer Hailey Rhatigan’s debut in the purple and white (or grey on Saturday in that matter), she had a hat trick and an assist. Last season at Mercer, Rhatigan tallied 93 goals and 28 assists, leading the country in shots on goal per game.
HAILEY RHATIGAN WITH HER FIRST GOAL AS A WILDCAT pic.twitter.com/OHnaOSHtvW— Northwestern Lax (@NULax) March 4, 2023
Ten different ‘Cats found the back of the net on Saturday, led by Erin Coykendall and Elle Hansen. Hansen tied her career-high with four goals, and Coykendall chipped in four and two assists.
Graduate attacker Izzy Scane did not play in either matchup, but the combined 48 goals Northwestern scored in the two games showed the depth of the roster.
Freshman Lucy Munro also notched her first career goal while senior Eve Hritzuk had two goals, her first since returning from an ACL injury she suffered midseason last year.
✨ FIRST CAREER GOAL FOR LUCY MUNRO ✨ pic.twitter.com/w9aYGvTu0v— Northwestern Lax (@NULax) March 4, 2023
First and second-year goalies Francesca Argentieri and Cara Nugent got some time between the pipes as well.
Sunday could only be described as an offensive onslaught against the Youngstown State Penguins, putting up 24 goals once again.
The ‘Cats jumped out to a 7-0 lead before the 9-minute mark, thanks to Dylan Amonte and Coykendall. The seniors combined for 13 points, while Rhatigan added to her scoring streak in purple with five goals.
Perhaps the biggest standout statistic from this weekend was Northwestern’s dominance on the draw control. In the first quarter, the ‘Cats won the battle 13-2. Overall, they finished the weekend 37-21 on the draw. The trio of Serafina DeMunno, Samantha Smith and Samantha White have been lethal in the circle, which leads to the attack to strike right after gaining possession.
Eleven Wildcats scored on Sunday, with four tallying at least a hat trick. Senior Kiera Shanley set a new career-high with a hat trick, while senior Daniella Stroup notched her first career goal on Senior Day.
‼️FIRST CAREER GOAL FOR DANIELLA STROUP‼️ pic.twitter.com/ZXBHpB3iM9— Northwestern Lax (@NULax) March 5, 2023
As well, both backup goalies saw fifteen minutes of action each. Argentieri tallied a career-high three saves, and Nugent with her own career-high of five, each allowing only one goal each.
Had to put that save on the instant replay ⏮— Northwestern Lax (@NULax) March 5, 2023
Francesca Argentieri already has three saves less than 10 minutes into the second half. pic.twitter.com/ulEeVA5Uqx
Now on a five-game win streak, Northwestern will face a tougher challenge when it welcomes three top-25 ranked opponents to Evanston in Stony Brook, Michigan and none other than undefeated (and reigning National Champion) North Carolina over the next two weeks.