In a dramatic, come-from-behind victory against the No. 13 ranked team in the country, the Women's Lacrosse team battled back from a 9-6 deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat the Ohio State Buckeyes by a score of 11-10. Senior attacker and team captain Erin Wellner was the hero as she scored a free position goal with 22 seconds remaining to give the Blue Jays the win. The victory against the Buckeyes, a crucial American Lacrosse Conference foe, propelled the Jays to their seventh win in their last eight games. This win also marks the highest-ranked team that Hopkins has ever defeated.
Among players, optimism abounded over how a season that began in disappointing fashion, with the Blue Jays losing three of their first four contests, has now turned around.
"In the early part of the season, we had some new players and we didn't have the chemistry we were looking for. Now we have stopped playing as much as individuals and began playing as a team," said sophomore midfielder Kate Barcomb.
Against the Buckeyes, Hopkins showed how far they have progressed from their early-season slump as they defeated a top team. The Blue Jays appeared poised early to take the lead and run away with the game, yet Ohio State was unrelenting. Hopkins scored three goals in the first eight minutes of the game to take a 3-0 lead.
First, junior attacker Meghan Burnett scored off an assist from Wellner less than five minutes into the game to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead.
Senior midfielder and team captain Christy Peterson scored the Blue Jays' second goal of the day and then assisted Jamie Larrimore for a score just 45 seconds later to give the Jays a 3-0 lead.
After Ohio State finally got on the board, the teams exchanged goals as the Blue Jays scored two goals, one by Barcomb and the other by sophomore midfielder Heidi Pearce and Ohio State scored again to give the Jays a 5-2 lead.
Ohio State made a quick charge, scoring back-to-back unanswered goals to cut the Hopkins lead from three goals to one with just over five minutes remaining in the half, but that would be all the Buckeye scoring for the remainder of the half. Burnett's scoring pass to Pearce gave the Blue Jays a shaky 6-4 halftime lead.
The second half, however, was a much different story. Each team went on a long scoring run, first as Ohio State opened the half by scoring five unanswered goals to take the lead 9-6, only to watch the Blue Jays respond with nearly an identical run of their own, scoring five of the game's final six goals, including the game-winner with less than 30 seconds remaining, to win the contest.
On the Ohio State scoring run, Megan Mirick scored two of the goals for the Buckeyes, while Regina Oliver, Lauren Cochran and Tracey Bounds each scored one.
Now trailing 9-6 and with just over ten minutes remaining in the game, the Blue Jays embarked on what could become a defining moment for a team that has already proven itself to be extremely resilient.
Barcomb scored her second goal of the day to spur the Blue Jay rally with over eight minutes remaining in the contest. Just under a minute and a half later, sophomore midfielder Heidi Pearce scored her third goal of the day to diminish the Buckeye lead to 9-8.
Junior attacker Liz Holland scored a free position goal with 6:39 remaining to tie the contest for the first time since Ohio State erased the Blue Jay lead and took the lead themselves earlier in the half. Behind Peterson's second goal of the game, Hopkins took the lead, 10-9 with 4:41 remaining.
Yet Ohio State was unrelenting, and the Buckeyes stormed back as Mirick scored her fifth goal of the game to tie the contest with only 47 seconds left.
But the Blue Jays prevailed in the end. They first won the draw control and in doing so, Wellner was fouled. She made her free position shot to give Hopkins the lead. Ohio State won the next draw, but failed to get off a shot as the game clock expired.
Now even after their big victory, Hopkins players realize that they must keep their composure and prepare for another tough upcoming match up.
As a result of her strong performance in the contest, highlighted by her game-winning goal, Wellner was rewarded by being named American Lacrosse Conference Player of the Week. She joined Larrimore as the second Hopkins player this season to earn that distinction.
In addition, Wellner was also named Warrior/Insider Lacrosse Honorable Mention, joining a number of players across the country who also earned the same distinction this week.
The triumph over the Buckeyes not only gives the Blue Jays a major victory, it also provides the team with momentum heading into this weekend's Homecoming game against Maryland.
"It puts us in the right place as far as rankings go. Ohio State beat Maryland. "We play Maryland this weekend, so it definitely gives us confidence going into that game," said Barcomb.
The much-anticipated contest will take place Saturday as Hopkins hosts lacrosse powerhouse the University of Maryland Terrapins at 12 p.m.