The defending national champions will open their season this Sunday against Syracuse in a top-five matchup in Ryan Fieldhouse. As the Wildcats look to defend their title, let’s dive into the key players in the driving force behind what got them to the championship last year — the offense. Northwestern also brings some first-year attackers, who you can learn about here.
Lucy Munro, Sophomore
Lacrosse is in Munro’s blood. Her father was an All-American at Brown, and her brother and sister played collegiately at Arizona State and Georgetown, respectively. As a first-year, Munro appeared in 17 games, including three appearances in the postseason. She finished the year with two goals and an assist, and also picked up three ground balls on the season. One of those ground balls was in the NCAA Quarterfinal against Loyola Maryland, showing that the sophomore might have a propensity for postseason performance.
Rachel Weiner, Sophomore
Last year, the first-year out of Florida saw only sparing action. Weiner appeared in 11 games, including NCAA Tournament matchups against Loyola Maryland and Denver. On the season, she tallied one goal and two assists, and of her six shots, five were on goal. With Hailey Rhatigan and Elle Hansen gone, the former Lacrosse Magazine All-American should have a larger role this season.
Dylan Amonte, Graduate
Amonte, the niece of head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller, has been one of the most consistent players in the program since she arrived before the 2020 season. She has appeared in every game since 2021 and started every game last season. Amonte tallied 30 goals, a career high which included three goals in the Big Ten Tournament. Her offensive totals have increased every season of her career, and she should continue to showcase her skills this year.
Madison Taylor, Sophomore
When a first-year makes the All-Big Ten Second Team, you know she had a special inaugural season. And Taylor’s season was arguably the most successful freshman year by any Wildcat since Scane put up 62 goals in 2019. Taylor started every single game, totaling 53 goals and 56 draw controls, both of which were top-four marks on the team. Taylor had a grand opening and grand closing that would make Jay-Z proud. Against Syracuse to start the season, she scored five goals; and to finish the year against Boston College, she scored four goals. Taylor was the first first-year since 2005 to achieve that latter feat, and as evidenced by her Preseason Second Team All-American recognition, we could be in for a ridiculous second season.
Erin Coykendall, Graduate
The Tewaaraton Finalist and First Team All-American is coming back for one last ride. Coykendall starred last season as the perfect sidekick to Izzy Scane (more on her later), becoming one of just two players to tally 50 goals and 50 assists last year (along with Syracuse’s Meaghan Tyrrell). Despite being the third offensive option, Coykendall scored a goal in every game last season, and put up multiple assists in 15 contests. In the Final Four, she played excellently: two goals and three assists against Denver, three goals and two assists against Boston College. The USA Lacrosse Preseason First Team All-American is once again going to be a linchpin of Northwestern’s offense.
Izzy Scane, Graduate
The most dominant force in college lacrosse today, and in program history, and maybe in the history of women’s lacrosse. A bold take, I know. But Scane currently sits 70 goals back of Charlotte North’s mark of 358 career goals, which is currently the all-time record. Scane scored 73 last season before the Big Ten Tournament began. In the postseason, she was an unholy terror, scoring an eye-popping 26 goals in just six games to close the season and bring the trophy back to Evanston. The defending Tewaaraton winner has a chance to become the first repeat winner of the award since North, and the third repeat winner in Northwestern’s history, following Kristen Kjellman and Hannah Nielsen.
Continuing to look at program history, Scane is second all-time in points, first all-time in goals, first in goals per game (by over 1.25 goals per game), seventh all-time in assists, second in shots attempted and fourth in free position goals. She’s also still 25 games away from cracking the top 10 in games played, just to provide context for her ridiculous efficiency. The Preseason Player of the Year is just days away from beginning another run for the ages.