May 3, 2012
GAINESVILLE, FL - Sophomore Taylor D'Amore notched a game-high eight points and five draws to pace Johns Hopkins to a 13-12 win over 11th-ranked Penn State in the ALC Quarterfinals Thursday at Florida. The Blue Jays improve to 9-8 on the season and advance to the ALC Semifinals for the first time since 2008. The Nittany Lions slip to 11-6 as the Jays snap a three-game skid to Penn State.
Hopkins jumped out to a four-goal lead before the second half was four minutes old as sophomore Sarah Taylor's third goal of the game staked the Blue Jays to a 12-8 lead. The pace slowed from there and Penn State finally got on the board in the second half with an unassisted goal from Elaine Welch at 18:15. Just under five minutes later, Hopkins' lead was back to four when D'Amore scored on a hard dodge from right goal line extended. Penn State answered with back-to-back goals from Maggie McCormick and Mackenzie Cyr just 72 seconds apart to make it a 13-11 game with 11:48 still to play.
Defense was the name of the game in the ensuing 10 minutes before Penn State finally broke through for a man-up goal at 1:46 from Tatum Coffey to make it a one-goal game. D'Amore won the ensuing draw and the Blue Jays promptly called timeout. Coming back out, Hopkins was able to use up nearly 90 seconds before an errant pass went out of bounds and Penn State took over. On the clear however, senior Cami Kramer intercepted a pass in midfield and the Blue Jays were able to run out the clock.
Kelly Lechner and Maggie McCormick sandwiched goals around a strike from D'Amore and Penn State led 2-1 just over eight minutes in. Junior Monica Fischer scored on an over-the-cage pass from D'Amore at 17:39 to ignite a five-goal Blue Jay run that saw Hopkins take a 6-2 lead with 10:15 to play in the half. Sophomore Sammy Cermack followed an identical goal at 14:55 as Hopkins took the lead at 3-2. Just 37 seconds later, junior Courtney Schweizer converted a free position goal. Senior Rachel Ballatori made it a three-goal game when she took a dump pass from D'Amore in the slot turned and fired a shot past Dana Cahill. Senior Colleen McCaffrey capped the run with her team-leading 40th goal of the season as the Blue Jays capitalized in transition. Schweizer tipped a Cyr pass in the defensive end, sophomore Sophia Sherry scooped up the loose ball and the Blue Jays were off in transition. McCaffrey fed the ball to classmate Candace Rossi, who gave it right back to McCaffrey in the slot and she converted.
Penn State responded with three unanswered goals in a span of just 84 seconds to make it a 6-5 game with 7:42 to play in the opening half. Haley Ford got things going with a man-up goal at 9:06, followed by a Coffey unassisted goal just 32 seconds later. Theresa Zichelli capped the quick spurt on a quick-stick high-to-low shot off a McCormick feed with 7:42 to go. The teams traded goals over the remainder of the half as Hopkins took a 9-8 lead into the half.
Taylor answered Zichelli's goal just 12 seconds later with the first of her career-high-tying three goals on the day to stem the Nittany Lions' run. She later answered a McCormick goal with a free position tally at 4:09 and Hopkins led 8-6. Molly Fernandez closed the half by sandwiching a pair of goals around a strike from Cermack and it was 9-8 Hopkins.
Coming out of the half, Hopkins quickly took a two-goal lead off a McCaffrey to Rossi connection just 24 seconds in. Less than two minutes later, D'Amore dodged across the top of the fan and blew a side-arm shot past Cahill. Taylor capped the three-goal run 62 seconds later as she completed her second career hat trick to stake Hopkins to the 12-8 lead.
D'Amore led all scorers with three goals and five assists for a career-high eight points, while also controlling a game-high five draws. She broke the school's ALC Tournament records for assists and points in a game and with her fourth draw of the game, broke the school's all-time record (Division I and III) single-season draws record. Taylor finished with three goals as eight different players scored for the Blue Jays. Cermack notched a pair of goals, while McCaffrey, Ballatori and Rossi each finished with a goal and an assist. Junior Cosette Larash made seven saves to earn the win. McCormick led the Nittany Lions with three goals and one assist, while Cyr had one goal and three helpers. Coffey and Fernandez finished with two goals apiece. Cahill made four saves in the cage for the Lions.
Hopkins advances to Friday's semifinal game versus top-ranked and second-seeded Northwestern. Opening draw from Dizney Stadium is set for 4:30 pm.