NCAA Championships

Northwestern Wildcats capture NCAA women's lacrosse championship


Samantha Smith #19 of the Northwestern Wildcats is introduced before the game against the Denver Pioneers during the Division I Women’s Lacrosse Semifinals held at WakeMed Soccer Park on May 26, 2023 in Cary, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

It’s been more than a decade since Northwestern won a national championship in women’s lacrosse, but the Wildcats are back on top of the mountain after a thunderous win over Boston College on Sunday afternoon.

The Wildcats, who won seven championships in an eight year span between 2005 and 2012, hadn’t been back to the championship game since that last tile, but they made up for their absence in an 18-6 win, putting up the largest margin of victory seen in the game in nearly 15 years.

Madison Taylor and Izzy Scane each racked up four goals for the Wildcats, and Erin Coykendall and Hailey Rhatigan each scored three times in the blowout victory.

The Wildcats raced out to a 3-0 lead after the first period, but Boston College quickly bounced back, as Kayla Martello and Belle Smith scored goals to narrow the gap to 3-2 in the second.

Undaunted, Northwestern reeled off three unanswered goals to end the second period, with Scane scoring twice and Rhatigan adding a tally of her own to give them a 6-2 lead.

The Wildcats really started pouring it on in the third period thanks to goals by Taylor, Elle Hansen and Scane within a 90-second stretch, building up the lead to 11-3.

From there Northwestern largely set things on cruise control, with Coykendall scoring her 58th goal of the season and Rhatigan scoring her 62 to finish things off.

The win gives Kelly Amonte Hiller eight national championships during her time in Evanston, making the program one of the most decorated in the history of the sport.

For Boston College, this marks the sixth consecutive season that they’ve reached the championship game, but they’ve now won just once in those six appearances, having lost to North Carolina last season.

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