There aren’t many coaches in Northwestern history who can claim a legacy like Kelly Amonte Hiller. As the lacrosse head coach for the Wildcats since 2002, she has won seven national titles from 2005-2012, including five in a row, and has reached the second round of the postseason each year since 2004. Last season she led the ’Cats to a 15-6 (5-1 B1G) overall record, their best record since 2013. In August she will coach the U.S. national team in the 2019 FIL Women’s U19 World Championship.
North By Northwestern talked with Hiller about the 2019 lacrosse season. (This conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
On the team’s goals:
Hiller: We have lofty goals for ourselves, but we don’t talk about those on a daily basis. We try to get better on a daily basis and really hone in on the details.
On the team’s expectations:
Hiller: [Making the NCAA Tournament] is an expectation. Over the last couple years we have faltered a little bit during the regular season. We’ve talked about taking care of business in the regular season so that we have great seeding and great positioning for the postseason.
On playing at home:
Hiller: Our crowds are great. It’s always an advantage to be in your home facility and not have to travel, so we’re really excited about that.
On returners she expects to make an impact:
Hiller: [Senior] Nell [Copeland] is doing a great job, [junior] Lindsey McKone has been doing a great job offensively, [seniors] Liza Elder and Holly Korn coming back from injury are playing well. We’re looking for a lot of contributors. We have a lot of depth and we’re going to use that depth.
On potential freshmen contributors:
Hiller: I think Isabelle Scane has done a great job for us, Elle Hansen, Amanda Cramer, Izzy Scane, really all the freshmen. We’ll need them all to compete this year.
On the cohesiveness of the team:
Hiller: I think the leaders of the team have done a good job of bringing the freshmen in and maybe older players that haven’t played a lot. You’re seeing the cohesiveness on the field and the experience on the field already – players that got limited time last year will step up and make an impact this year.”