April 16, 2012
EVANSTON, IL - Visiting Johns Hopkins staged an impressive second half comeback against top-ranked and defending NCAA Champion Northwestern to tie the game at 11 goals apiece, but the hosts would score five of the last six goals to avoid the upset. The Blue Jays slip to 7-6 overall and 0-3 in the American Lacrosse Conference, while the Wildcats remain unbeaten at 14-0 overall and 4-0 in the conference.
Hopkins trailed by as many as six goals twice in the game before rallying to tie the score with more than 20 minutes to play. Trailing 9-3 with just 33 seconds left in the opening half, Hopkins got goals from senior Rachel Ballatori and sophomore Taylor D'Amore in just a 21-second span, with D'Amore's coming with two seconds on the clock, to make it a 9-5 game at the break. Senior Candace Rossi, who has assisted on both goals to end the half, scored just 10 seconds into the second to make the deficit three.
Kara Mupo answered the spurt with a pair of goals less than a minute apart to make it an 11-6 game with 27:30 still to play. Senior Colleen McCaffrey came right back with a pair of goals for the Blue Jays, igniting a run that saw the visitors score five unanswered in less than seven minutes to tie the game. McCaffrey, Rossi and Ballatori had a hand in all five goals with four scores and one helper. Northwestern came back with a run of its own, scoring the next five goals to take a 16-11 lead before Rossi would score an unassisted tally with 1:01 to play to account for the 16-12 final.
The Wildcats came out of the gate firing and looked to put the game away early, scoring the game's first six goals and holding the Jays scoreless for the first 19 minutes. Freshman Jenna Kasmarik finally broke the ice for Hopkins, scoring a free position goal at 10:13. Kelly Rich got that one back off a feed from Amanda Macaluso and it was 7-1 Northwestern. Hopkins wasn't going away, scoring five of the final seven goals of the half to set the stage for an exciting second half. Sophomore Sarah Taylor and Ballatori scored back-to-back goals 61 seconds apart to make it a four-goal game before Shannon Smith and Ali Cassera converted free position shots to push the lead back to six.
Ballatori and D'Amore would steal the momentum for the Blue Jays with two late goals to end the half. D'Amore's goal with just two seconds left in the half was the 100th point of her career. With just 30 career games under her belt, she is the fastest Blue Jay to reach the century mark since Mary Key reached the milestone in 2005 in just 24 games.
Ballatori and Rossi paced the Blue Jays with three goals apiece, while Rossi also dished out two helpers to finish with five points. McCaffrey had two goals and two assists while sophomore Sammy Cermack had one goal and one assist. D'Amore finished with one goal, one assist and a career-high-tying eight draw controls. The mark is just one shy of the school Division I record. Junior Cosette Larash took the loss with seven saves. Hopkins' 12 goals tied a season-high for goals allowed by the nation's stingiest defense, which allowed double-digit goals for just the second time this season. Smith led the Wildcats with a game-high seven points on three goals and four assists. Erin Fitzgerald scored four goals, while Mupo had a hat trick. Brianne LoManto made six saves to earn the win as Hopkins scored 12 goals on just 19 shots.
Hopkins returns to action on Saturday, April 21 in the Blue Jays' final regular season road trip. Hopkins will travel to Happy Valley to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions in a 1:00 pm showdown.