Northwestern women’s lacrosse will play for its 8th NCAA title — and 1st since 2012 — after beating Denver in the Final Four

For the first time in more than a decade, Northwestern’s powerhouse women’s lacrosse program will play for a national championship.

The Wildcats defeated Denver 15-7 behind six goals and two assists from Izzy Scane in the Final Four on Friday in Cary, N.C.

Coach Kelly Amonte Hiller’s team will take on Boston College at 11 a.m. Sunday on ESPN for its eighth national title — and first since 2012.

Starting in 2005, Northwestern won five consecutive championships and seven in eight years, losing to Maryland in the title game in 2010. But despite qualifying for five more Final Fours — including the last three before this season — the Wildcats hadn’t returned to the championship game.

Hailey Rhatigan added four goals Friday and Erin Coykendall had two goals and three assists. Goalkeeper Molly Laliberty made eight saves.

Boston College beat Syracuse 8-7 in Friday’s second semifinal.

Illinois men’s golf

Coach Mike Small’s Illini opened play in the NCAA championships at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., with a 5-over-par 285 total to sit five strokes behind leader Georgia Tech.

Adrien Dumont de Chassart shot a 2-under 68, tied for sixth in the individual competition.

The field is cut from 30 teams to 15 after three rounds of stroke play, then the top eight teams after the fourth round advance to match play.

The Illini have won 13 of the last 14 Big Ten titles under Small but still are seeking their first national championship.

Northwestern softball

The Wildcats took on host Alabama on Friday night in the opener of a best-of-three NCAA super regional. The winner will advance to the Women’s College World Series, which would be Northwestern’s second straight berth and seventh overall.