Skip to main content
Northwestern's Izzy Scane.

Scane Breaks NCAA Goals Record in 17-4 Win Over Denver

May 12, 2024
Jake Epstein
Sophia Scheller

EVANSTON, Ill. — Amid Izzy Scane’s ascension to the Division I career goals record, No. 1 Northwestern showcased significant shades of its 2023 national title run in Sunday’s second-round clash against Denver at Martin Stadium.

Behind 19 combined points from Scane, Madison Taylor and Erin Coykendall, the Wildcats (16-2) breezed into their sixth consecutive quarterfinal, pummeling the Pioneers 17-4. Northwestern activated the running clock with a 10-goal lead in the second quarter.

Scane, who scored a game-high five goals, eclipsed Charlotte North’s previous Division I goals record six minutes into the game with her 359th career tally.

“I always wanted to go to Northwestern, and it was just crazy that dream came true,” Scane said. “Even seeing my family after the game and giving them hugs, having my dad tear up — it’s hard to put into words or put into perspective because it’s been such a long, awesome journey.”

With her team’s past three games decided by just four goals combined, Wildcats coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said the Big Ten’s collective strength helped prepare the defending national champions for this year’s tournament.

Alongside Northwestern, Big Ten squads Maryland and Michigan also advanced to the quarterfinal round Sunday.

“Being pushed on a day-to-day basis helps you elevate your game,” Amonte Hiller said. “That’s why we play the schedule we play. We’re not afraid to have challenges and be forced to improve through those challenges.”

Wildcats midfielder Samantha Smith put on a clinic in the draw circle, helping her team win the game’s first nine draw controls. Denver failed to cross midfield with possession during the initial 7:38.

Northwestern piled on the game’s first five scores and entered the second quarter with an 8-1 advantage. Amonte Hiller said Smith and her fellow circle players in Taylor and defender Sammy White proved pivotal in the lopsided opening frame.

“[Smith] is the ultimate competitor, and the circle play was awesome today, too,” Amonte Hiller said. “We only played defense once or twice in the first quarter, which was huge.”

Although Denver attackers Julia Gilbert and Lauren Black compiled consecutive conversions to jumpstart the Pioneers’ second-quarter effort, Scane, Coykendall and attacker Dylan Amonte ripped off the first half’s final five, creating a 13-3 halftime edge.

Through 30 minutes, the Wildcats had scored on all but one of their shots on goal. Despite facing limited action on the defensive end, Northwestern defender Carleigh Mahoney said her unit remained keyed in on the task at hand.

“Every time after a goal, the ‘D’ comes together, and we have our own little sayings … remind each other, ‘Let’s be dialed,’” Mahoney said. “In the moment, watching the offense is just so exciting.”

Wildcat goalkeeper Molly Laliberty tallied two third-quarter saves to pitch a shutout in the period, while Scane and Taylor each recorded goals to extend Northwestern’s advantage to 15-3 heading into the final quarter.

After graduate transfers Lindsey Frank and Mary Schumar connected to open the fourth quarter’s scoring, Amonte Hiller rotated in her second and third lines to see out the win.

Denver coach Liza Kelly said her transcendent group of departing seniors and graduate students’ careers will not be defined by the loss.

“[After the game], I tried to remind them that their career is not one game … it’s every single game they’ve played,” Kelly said. “They’ve been undefeated in conference since they walked in the door … won every conference championship, [taking] us further than we’ve ever gone in program history to the Final Four. They should be very proud of the legacy they left.”

Northwestern will take on No. 8 seed Penn on Thursday at Martin Stadium. The programs have faced off 20 times, with the Wildcats boasting a 16-4 all-time advantage.

Although her brother Griffin plays midfield for the Quakers’ men’s lacrosse team, Scane said he will be donning his purple in support of Northwestern.

“He told me right after the game to kick their butts,” Scane said with a laugh. “He was the first one to tell me that’s who we were playing. He’s rooting for me, thankfully, [with] maybe a little [trash] talk — but not as much as you’d think.”