Saturday afternoon’s 35-mile-per-hour winds weren’t the only thing on Homewood Field that was vicious. The Hopkins women’s lacrosse team took no prisoners as they lit up the scoreboard in a 19-0 thrashing of the Furman University Paladins.
The Jays got off to a fast start barely a minute into the contest when sophomore attacker Maggie Schneidereith found junior attacker Nicole DeMase, whose bouncing shot beat the Paladins’ senior goalie Maggie Friel, to notch the first of what would prove to be many Blue Jay goals.
Junior attacker Miranda Ibello followed up with a goal off a pass from senior midfielder Shannon Fitzgerald and an assist to sophomore midfielder Lexi Souder to extend the lead to three. Soon after, senior attacker Emily Kenul’s free-position shot found the net to give Hopkins a 4-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the first half.
“Coming off of a two-game losing streak, we really focused on getting back to the basics, playing Hopkins lacrosse and playing with determination and discipline,” sophomore midfielder Mackenzie Heldberg said. “I think during the game we focused on playing fast and composed and celebrating the little things as well as bringing excitement into the game.”
The next 10 minutes saw the Blue Jays bury yet another four goals, with DeMase and Ibello each finding twine for their second goals of the game. Schneidereith would get some help from Kenul, whose pass found the sophomore deep in the Paladins’ zone before she fired a low shot past Friel’s feet. Heldberg would then take advantage of a free-position shot for her fifth goal of the season and the Jays’ eighth goal of the game.
“We were all just connecting and flowing so well from defense to offense,” Heldberg said. “A lot of people got the opportunity to play in the game and the level of play never dropped — everyone was intense and zoned in, and the sidelines were erupting with excitement.”
Ibello would pick up her hat trick and 14th goal of the season on an unassisted strike, and 55 seconds later, Heldberg would pick up her second point of the day with an assist to senior attacker CeCe Finney. Kenul would cap off the first-half scoring with a free-position shot to put Hopkins ahead 11-0, as the teams headed into the locker rooms to close out the half.
Just as she had ended the first half, Kenul started the second half with an unassisted goal and a hat trick just 12 seconds after the whistle blew off of freshman midfielder Shelby Harrison’s opening draw win.
Fitzgerald would break up Kenul’s goal streak and pick up her first goal of the game on an unassisted strike. However, less than two minutes later, Kenul would once again find the back of the net for her fourth goal of the game as the Jays took a 14-0 lead.
Schneidereith and Fitzgerald would continue to extend the Blue Jay lead, each picking up unassisted goals. DeMase would pick up the third Blue Jay hat trick when she capitalized on a free-position shot.
The final two nails in the coffin would come when senior midfielder Caroline Shinske and senior attacker Eden Epner each found the net for their first goals of the season and the 18th and 19th respective goals of the day as Hopkins emerged the victor 19-0.
The Blue Jays dominated the shot totals, with 23 and 17 in the first and second halves, respectively, compared to the Paladins’ six and three. Hopkins was also a perfect 17-17 on their clearing attempts and 5-11 on their free-position shots.
The goalkeeper trio of junior Haley Crosson, freshman Kathleen Garvey and sophomore Robyn Lipschultz held down the fort with strong defensive performances as the Blue Jays completed just their fourth shutout since they joined D-I and the first since 2009.
Kenul’s four-goal performance improved her career count to 99, with one more making her the 11th Blue Jay in D-I history to reach the century mark. Harrison also won six draws to give her a career total of 37, which is the fifth highest in school history by a freshman, and earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors for her performance.
“I think we have an insane chemistry on our team that’s going to take us really far this year. We are a super athletic and fast team, and everyone contributes to make each other better,” Heldberg said. “We have so much depth from the freshmen all the way up to the seniors. Everyone has an important role, and I’m very excited to see how this season goes.”
The victory gives the Jays a 4-2 record on the season with the Paladins falling to 1-4. Hopkins will next be in action Saturday, March 10 as they go up against the Hofstra University Pride at Homewood Field. The opening draw is slated for 1 p.m.