After continuous back-and-forth play, the Hopkins women’s lacrosse team was unable to maintain their lead, letting the 12th-ranked Northwestern University Wildcats go on a four-goal run to win the game 11-10.
Despite the loss, Sophomore midfielder Mackenzie Heldberg thought that it was one of their best games as a team.
“There was not really much we could have done differently,” Heldberg said. “I think just cleaning up the little things and staying focused on the basics and what was working well for us in that game could have possibly changed the end result.”
The Blue Jays took the first lead of the game, as Heldberg scored back-to-back goals. However, the Wildcats responded with two goals of their own in a 20-second span, quickly tying up the score at 2-2 after only six minutes of play.
“I thought that overall our team meshed and flowed very well together from the offense through to the defense,” Heldberg said.
Hopkins wasted no time in regaining their lead, because sophomore attacker Maggie Schneidereith and junior attacker Nicole DeMase then scored for the Jays.
Heldberg notched a hat trick for the Blue Jays just 7:36 into the game, extending the Blue Jays’ lead to three.
Northwestern quickly cut the lead back to two, as senior Nicole Beardsley scored on a low shot. Three minutes later, the Wildcats scored again, this time off a free position. The score read 5-4 in the Jays’ favor as both teams headed to the locker rooms at the end of the half.
To start the second half, Northwestern asserted their dominance, as junior attacker Holly Korn took multiple consecutive shots, with one eventually beating the Jays’ junior goalie Haley Crosson to tie the score back up at 5.
“We executed the scout and game plan probably the best we have all season, and we were very prepared for anything Northwestern was going to throw at us,” Heldberg said.
However, the Blue Jays did not let the Wildcats’ second-half fire discourage them.
Schneidereith scored for the Jays, igniting a 5-3 run that put Hopkins up a comfortable 10-7 lead with a little under 14 minutes left to play.
Northwestern pushed through the late-game deficit, as the Wildcats scored two within a span of 13 seconds.
The Wildcats rode this momentum, making a score-tying goal. The score was now 10-10.
The Hopkins defense could not interrupt the four-goal run, as senior Sheila Nesselbush gave the Wildcats their first lead of the day with 2:22 remaining on the clock — the score read 11-10.
Heldberg tried to make one last attempt to take the game to overtime, but her shot was successfully blocked, giving Northwestern the Big Ten victory.
Heldberg reflected on what this game means going forward.
“I think we just have to stay the course and know that while we lost a few games by one goal, we can play with just about any team,” she said.
After Friday’s loss, Hopkins is now 4-13 all-time against the Wildcats, with the last three matchups being decided by just one goal. Despite the unfortunate result, many Hopkins players displayed impressive performances.
Junior attacker Miranda Ibello, with her first-half assist, reached the 100 career-point milestone.
She is only the 22nd player in the program’s history of competing at the Division I level to accomplish this. Ibello only needed 44 career games to attain this milestone, as she was unable to play in the latter part of her sophomore season due to an ACL injury.
Freshman midfielder Shelby Harrison finished the day with three draws, improving her tally to 54 on the season.
She needs only two more draws to tie the school record for most draws for a freshman.
“All our goals for this season are still well in our reach, and we need to take it one game at a time,” Heldberg said.
The Blue Jays will see the field again on Sunday, April 8, as they head up to Ann Arbor, Mich. to face off against the Michigan Wolverines.
“Our main goal and focus right now is Michigan and what that team is going to throw at us,” Heldberg said.