Scane's 8 Goals in Return from Hamstring Injury Power Wildcats Past Seawolves


Izzy Scane had eight goals and one assist in a 13-8 win over Stony Brook.

EVANSTON, Ill. — Northwestern attacker Izzy Scane was doing it all against Stony Brook Friday night.

Ripping shots from the eight-meter arc. Darting toward the goal, tripping up defenders in the process. Breaking away from the pack, leaving defenders in the dust en route to scoring a wide-open goal.

You never would have known that Scane spent last weekend on the bench with a hamstring injury. The Michigan product led the No. 3 Wildcats to a 13-8 victory against the No. 4 Seawolves, handing Stony Brook its first loss of 2023 in a vibrant Ryan Fieldhouse.

“Every time we get to play a team as good as [Stony Brook], it’s an exciting opportunity to show who we are as a team,” Scane said. “It’s even more exciting when it’s a really close ranked team to try and separate ourselves from them … and making sure we’re having fun while doing so.”

Northwestern’s high-octane offense looked unstoppable behind Scane’s eight goals. The Wildcats’ attack kept things fast and pass-heavy, giving Stony Brook headaches on defense. A 12-save performance from graduate goalie Molly Laliberty and 10 caused turnovers didn’t hurt either.

Yet, the Seawolves initially took control. The Wildcats looked frazzled after the first draw, turning the ball over on their first possession. Stony Brook took advantage of Northwestern’s confusion, as senior Morgan Mitchell scored less than one minute in. The Seawolves never led by more than a goal, however, before the Wildcats took over toward the end of the first quarter.

Northwestern has a mentality of “15 seconds at a time, an inch at a time,” Scane said. That was their approach when staring down a deficit in the first quarter, powering a 4-0 Wildcat run and 5-3 lead at the end of the period. By halftime, Northwestern had extended its lead to 8-5.

On the other side of the field, Stony Brook struggled against what coach Joe Spallina called one of Northwestern’s better defensive performances. Junior midfielder Ellie Masera pushed through, scoring four goals, but little else was happening for the Seawolves. The Wildcats’ strength in transition posed problems, Spallina said.

“We wasted a lot of energy trying to clear the ball,” Spallina said. “It gave us really short shot clocks. A big part of their defensive success [was that] we didn’t make them play 70 seconds plus of defense.”

What started as a fiery offensive matchup quickly turned into a rock fight in the second half. Both teams were gritty and physical in transition, resulting in turnover after turnover, multiple players being sent off the field with injuries, a Stony Brook player getting a cut near her eye and five yellow cards issued in the third quarter alone. The crowd grew restless, too, as Wildcat fans groaned and some called out the referees as cards were awarded.

Scane said Northwestern prides itself on its aggressiveness. She felt that the Wildcats did a good job staying calm despite the physicality.

The Seawolves held Northwestern to just two goals in the third quarter, in part because of their renewed defensive effort. Spallina said his team played defense that could have won the game, as they controlled the tempo, and gained offensive opportunities, too. Stony Brook narrowed the lead to two toward the beginning of the fourth quarter but was unable to stage the comeback.

Behind two fourth quarter goals from Scane –– including a jaw-dropping buzzer-beater –– and another from graduate attacker Elle Hansen, the Wildcats were able to finish off a 13-8 victory. Scane credited her teammates for their composure in the final 15 minutes.

“If we had one person doubting, then it wouldn’t have gone the way it did,” Scane said.

Northwestern coach Kelly Amonte Hiller called the Seawolves “incredible fighters from start to finish.” The Wildcats focused on fighting until the end, too.

The game was a mirror image of the Wildcats’ and Seawolves’ meeting in 2022 –– a game that proved especially motivational for the 2022 Stony Brook team. Just like the 2023 matchup, the Seawolves found themselves down at halftime and went on to play a competitive second half. But, both times, their efforts weren’t enough to win.

Spallina said he spoke with his team about starting fast, but Northwestern looked “very comfortable” in the game’s first half, and Stony Brook was forced to play from behind. Winning as an opposing team in Evanston is “not an easy thing,” Spallina said, but the Seawolves did prove that their defense travels.

Now 6-0 since their season-opening loss at Syracuse, the Wildcats look to keep building on the bonds they’ve created week after week.

“We’re getting deeper into the season,” Scane said. “We’re getting more time together, more games together. Every day is an opportunity to get better as a team. This group’s amazing. Everyone, on and off the field, puts a huge effort into making sure we’re ready for games.”


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