Izzy Scane’s 8 Goals Against North Carolina, Broken Down by Izzy Scane
By Jack Lido
Northwestern suffered an incredibly close 18-20 loss to the No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels last March. Although, it certainly was not Izzy Scane’s fault. In fact, without her, the loss to the undefeated Heels may have been closer to a blowout than one of the best games of the year. That night, nearly a year ago, Scane ripped a career-high eight goals through the net against the eighth-best scoring defense in the nation. All eight were unique, and there’s no way I could accurately break them down, so without further ado…
Izzy Scane: I mean this play is all on Brennan (Dwyer, No. 33) honestly. With lacrosse it’s quickstart, so in the midfield like that, you can start whenever you pick up the ball, and Brennan made a really really good heads-up play starting as soon as the whistle was blown, knowing it was our possession. She goes, and those UNC defenders aren’t even ready, so she’s making it down the field, making it a man-up play which is all on Brennan, and then she just releases it to me, and I try to get the shot off quick, knowing that the defenders are headed my way.
Jack Lido: When you say “man-up play” that means Brennan, just by running that fast, makes it a man-up?
IS: Yeah, exactly. We have three middies coming in, Brennan’s one of them and all three of the UNC middies are behind her, on our offensive end we’re man-up. I just tried to let go of the ball as quick as possible because the defender was right on me, so I just tried to get rid of it quickly.
IS: So Jane (Hansen, no. 4) sets a pick there which gets me a little bit off the hands of my defender. A lot of our offense is “pass down pick down.” So basically what happened was Jane passed down to me, promptly goes and sets a pick on the defender. That’s her coming into those two defenders right there – see how they kind of hesitate for a second, on deciding which girl to go to – which gives me a very quick second to get my hands free off the defender. So I get my shoulder down, turn towards the cage, she’s on my back. And then here I see the defender sliding from across the crease, so I just roll back. I didn’t have time to switch hands, so I just had the stick on the other side of my body and tried to, again, get rid of it quickly because there’s a lot of defenders around. It’s the little things that make a little bit of space which is really nice.
IS: This is the same type of thing. Lauren (Gilbert, no. 1) sets a screen for Jane, and then the ball comes across because she didn’t have the alley to dodge. Erin’s (Coykendall, no. 2) going to send it down to me and kinda do the same thing where she sets a pick, kind of getting the defenders to hesitate on who they’re going to take. I hesitate up at the top there, waiting to see if the defender from across the eight (meter arc) is going to slide. That’s where you see me kind of “slow step” a little bit which kind of seems weird, me slowing down that much, but that was me looking for either a pass or seeing if that defender (Brooklyn Neumen, no. 35) from across the eight is even looking. I hesitate a little bit here, she’s not looking, then I go. You just have to kind of turn your shoulder and my hands were free, so I got a shot off.
JL: I could be wrong, but it doesn’t look like you have as much space here as you did in the previous goal.
IS: Yeah, I don’t because the defenders made a decision pretty early on who they were going to stay on. So, as you can see, she’s on me the entire time I’m going. Our coaches always say “your sticks have eyes” so it doesn’t really look like I have space to shoot here, but you can see how much space, if my stick’s out like that, how much space I have to release that ball. So I just tried to release it kind of off the defender. It wasn’t a great, great shot but I think it’s good enough to get in which is just good I guess.
IS: Our coaches say a lot about “lulling your defender to sleep.” So what happens here is Brennan goes and sets the pick, and as you can see, they’re bouncing, kind of waiting for me to go one direction and decide where they’re gonna go. So basically what you’re doing here is holding them up hoping that one of them’s gonna bite and either come out to you or go out to Brennan. So I’m here waiting, waiting, waiting, seeing, and Brennan slips out and as soon as she slips out is when the defenders have to make a decision on who to go on to. And luckily my defender (Maddie Hoffman, no. 17) you see how she jumps out to the right side, that’s giving me the alley down the middle to get my shot off, so luckily enough for me, the defender is on my right (Nicole Humphrey, no. 9), which is better for me because when I get down in the alley, she’s gonna jump out to my right hand after Brennan slips. See how she’s all the way out on the elbow there? Yeah, that gives me the hole and Brennan’s doing a really good job slipping so her defender can’t slide until really late because Brennan’s a threat. If Brennan got the ball right there it’s a goal so her defender has to stay on her. So Brennan’s doing a really good job slipping, her defender has to mark her there or else it’s a goal, making it harder for her to slide, and I get the alley and the defender doesn’t get there in time to slide off that.
JL: When you run that play. Do you want No. 9 to switch on you or is it just a situation where you want to make them uncomfortable?
IS: I mean, in this, it’s mostly making them uncomfortable, but it did work out for the better here because if the no. 17 stayed on me – you see how she’s kind of blocking the middle which is where I want to be going? – we’re not necessarily trying to get that girl to bite but we’re trying to make them hesitate enough so that they have to make that decision. Lucky enough for me it was a good decision in terms of who marked me- good on my part not their part, it’s kinda bad on their part. And also just Brennan making that slip is really helpful. It’s making it a lot harder for a slide to come when she’s being a threat like that in the middle.
JL: That’s an assist that isn’t on the stat sheet?
IS: You’ll see in almost all these plays there’s girls on our offense and midfielders doing stuff that’s clearing up the lanes for me to dodge or to cut, so all the credit goes to them on that kind of stuff.
IS: So my freshman year I was horrible at free positions. I don’t know what it was, but I could not finish on free positions for the life of me. So this preseason I really worked on finding a spot on free positions that I could get, that I could score every time. I have a hard enough shot where I can shoot from the outside, usually. I’ve heard from goalie friends the hardest shot to stop is hip side, the opposite side of the goalie because they have to make a split second decision. Do they want to go over the top or do they want to go under? So hitting ‘em right on the hip side where you can’t put your foot into it, you have to kind of move your body and your stick. All year I kind of pinned in that bottom right corner because for righty goalies it’s a really hard shot to save. You just gotta release it quick because defenders are coming pretty fast, they’re very fast off the line.
IS: Another play that I’m going to give full credit to my teammate. Megan Kinna, No. 12. It’s kind of a Canadian thing (Kinna is from Maple Ridge, British Columbia) to do weird stuff like that, basically what she did was I faked a flip, and you can see her cradling her stick like she has the ball. So basically what happens is because she’s doing that, which I literally at the time did not know until afterwards. She goes like this and it’s called power cradling, so you see both the defenders completely slide to her, and I literally have a wide open lane towards the middle. All the credit goes to Kinna. All I had to do is run out in the middle and try not to miss. That’s like, “alright if you miss… this this is not good.”
IS: Lindsey passes it down to Erin, kind of cuts through and gets her defender (Julia Dorsey, No. 4) to come with her, goes across the eight so she’s completely getting out of play. Now it’s a two versus two on our side. Erin did the thing that I was talking about earlier where she kind of like lulls a little bit and waits. I’m not sure why that defender (Maddie Hoffman, No. 17) jumps over early. Erin’s hands are up, I think that’s why the girl jumps so much because Erin’s really good at looking like she’s going to feed and she’s a really big feeder. So Erin’s got her hands up like she’s gonna feed, 17 jumps to put her stick up kind of looking to block the pass I’m guessing, also Lindsey’s girl leaves off her and comes to me, but Erin makes a really really good heads-up play seeing that 17 leaves me open.
I have a defender right on me, so I turn, and I didn’t have time to switch my hands. I’ve never actually taken that shot before, I’ve never practiced or done a shot like that so I honestly don’t know where that came from. Basically what happened was I felt the defender on my back, you see how she’s on that side of me, the right side? My right hand is not open, you can see that if I turned with my right hand up, I’d be right into a defender. I would want to go that way, but I can’t. So I’m going towards the middle, and I didn’t have time to really switch hands so I kind of just got my hands free and did a “Canadian left.”
JL: Canadian left?
IS: We call a Canadian left because Canadians don’t like to use their left hands very much. So I have my right on top and instead switching I’m just taking it to the opposite side of my body.
IS: The defenders are on me there, so I can’t really do much. So when that happens, you kind of just want to move the ball. So we get it behind, Erin’s an insane feeder, her vision of the field is absolutely insane. I’ve played with her since high school and she’s one of the best feeders I’ve ever played with. She’s behind (the net), she gets the ball. As soon as the ball gets behind, defenders kind of shift their vision down because obviously the ball’s back there so they don’t want to be looking straight up or else they might miss a slide or something. So the defenders shift their head a little bit and I’m up top – kind of high, probably should have been a little tighter in.
Liza Elder (No. 9) cuts through, getting my defender to kind of go with her. Erin sees me up top. Luckily, I catch it. If I shot right here it would have been a penalty because there’s a girl right in front of the cage (No. 6). I was forced to hold onto it. I see my girl flying *this* way, I see that she’s coming full speed. So I switch. And then No. 17 comes to me, she’s right in front of me, she’s not edging to either way. It honestly makes it a little harder on the goalie because they can’t see as well. So she’s kind of setting a screen for me in terms of like what the goalie can see. So all I’m doing is getting past my girl. Obviously I know I have a little bit of time, this girl’s standing straight in front of me. So, again, your sticks have eyes and I had enough space with the head of my stick to get around my defender and get a shot off. Kind of a lucky shot, it bounced very nicely into the corner, but I’ll take it.
JL: So you never actually switch hands, but No. 17 is right in front of you again, you just have to take it over her left side, your right side, because her stick is on her right side?
IS: Yep. I just got my hands and my stick around her body. I know where the cage is, everyone knows where the cage is, so you don’t necessarily need to be eye-to-eye watching it happen, so I just had to shoot around my defender and hope that I got a good enough shot to go in. It bounced very interestingly that made it hard on the goalie.
JL: At what point do you start like thinking about “This is my career high” or “I’m approaching my career high”?
IS: I honestly, I didn’t have any idea, going into this game I didn’t know what my career high was. Freshman year was kind of a blur getting moved around from defense to midfield to attack so I didn’t pay enough attention – I mean, you don’t really need to be paying attention to that – but I wasn’t really paying much attention to how many goals I had scored or what my max was. I think my max goals was like, really early freshman year against Rutgers, it was one of my first games on attack, so I didn’t even know how many that was. I just remember it being a lot of goals (Scane, despite her confusion, is absolutely correct. She scored six goals in her seventhth-career game against Rutgers in 2019.) Coming into this game I had no idea that I was coming up on my career high at all, but hearing afterwards, was really cool to hear. I think at this point, you can see the score, it’s all just about scoring, you just need to get goals in. But it was cool to hear about afterwards. Very cool, especially against the team like UNC.