Northwestern’s Lacrosse MVP: Izzy Scane
This might be the most obvious choice anyone has ever made. In Northwestern lacrosse’s first national championship season in 12 years, no player was more responsible than the increasingly legendary Izzy Scane.
The Scane Train suffered an unfortunate derailment in November of 2021. After being named a Tewaaraton finalist the prior season, Scane tore her ACL and meniscus, missing the entire 2022 season.
She would return with a vengeance. After putting up five goals in a narrow loss to #1 Syracuse, Scane had a chance to truly announce her presence against Notre Dame. She did so with gusto, scoring 10 goals and chipping in a pair of assists in an 18-14 victory.
It seemed like there was a new mind-boggling Scane statline every week. After scoring eight goals against Marquette, she missed two games to help continue her recovery. In her return performance, against #4 Stony Brook, she scored eight goals again, as many as the entire Stony Brook squad.
That Stony Brook game was the first of nine straight in which Scane would score at least four goals, a streak stretching to 10 games if the Marquette game is included. That streak coincided with the team’s most dominant stretch of the season, with seven of those 10 games being won by at least seven goals.
And in the wins that weren’t close, Scane was the one who pushed the team over the hump. Against North Carolina, the defending champions, she snapped a 4-0 Tar Heels run with an unassisted beauty of a goal to begin sealing the deal. On the road against a scrappy Ohio State team, Scane scored three first half goals to ensure the Buckeyes would never get closer than six goals down in the second half.
When the calendar flipped to May, Scane truly began to shine as not merely a transcendent player, but a dominant postseason force. After a “quiet” performance against Maryland (in which she still scored a goal and added two assists despite the Terrapins defense being fully focused on her for large chunks of play), she lit up the Big Ten tournament.
Scane opened the postseason with four goals and four assists against #16 Michigan, then turned her sights on Maryland once more. In a top-10 battle to decide the Big Ten champion, Scane scored four goals. The first three were all in the first half, helping keep Northwestern in a tight contest, and the final goal came with two minutes left to seal a 14-9 victory.
With an even bigger trophy in sight, Scane turned up yet another notch. After a rough game that nearly saw Michigan end the run, Scane dominated Loyola Maryland in the quarterfinals, scoring seven goals and adding a trifecta of assists in a 16-6 blowout.
It was in Cary, North Carolina where Scane tore up the Final Four and made the entire season seem like a foregone conclusion. Against a Denver defense that had been spectacular all year, she notched six goals and two assists in a 15-7 win. To clinch the title against Boston College, Scane put up a casual four goals and two assists in what turned into an 18-6 blowout. Perhaps the most impressive part of her Final Four performance: from the attacker position, Scane caused four turnovers, tying for the team lead in Cary.
The list of awards racked up by Scane this year could almost fill a page. Just from 2023 alone, her resume reads like this: Tewaaraton winner, Honda winner, IWLCA Player of the Year and First Team All-American, Big Ten Attacker of the Year and First Team, and MVPs of both the Big Ten and NCAA tournament. Scane was maybe the best athlete in all of college sports last year, and it gets even better for Northwestern fans. Thanks to her injury and the COVID year, Scane will be back next year for one last ride.