Coming off a solid conference win against the University of Michigan on April 8, the women’s lacrosse team faced a tough opponent in the undefeated, No. 1 ranked Stony Brook Seawolves last Friday night. The Jays lost 15-7 and are now 8-6 overall and 1-3 in conference play.
Despite the tough loss, senior midfielder Shannon Fitzgerald highlighted the work the team put in during the match.
“Our team did a really good job of never slowing our play. We consistently played with heart and hustle even though we were down the entire game,” Fitzgerald said. “I was really proud of my team for the effort we put out this game and the opportunities we created on offense, as well as playing incredible team defense.”
Stony Brook senior Kylie Ohlmiller scored the first two goals of the game in less than six minutes, but sophomore midfielder Mackenzie Heldberg stopped the Seawolves’ run with a Hopkins goal off of a free-position shot at 19:03 to put the Jays on the scoreboard.
The Seawolves went on to score four more goals before the Blue Jays answered back with a goal from senior attacker CeCe Finney with 6:30 left on the clock in the first half.
Stony Brook was the last to score before the end of the half with a goal by sophomore Taryn Ohlmiller to bring the Seawolves to a 7-2 lead going into the locker room, but the Blue Jays did not let the deficit get them down.
Hopkins came back in the second half with a gritty fight, getting even more goals on the board in the second half.
Finney opened the scoring in the second with a quick goal just two and a half minutes in with an assist from Fitzgerald.
Stony Brook scored twice in a row before Hopkins swooped in with back-to-back goals of their own — one solo from Fitzgerald and one from junior attacker Miranda Ibello, assisted by Heldberg.
Kylie Ohlmiller responded with two straight goals for Stony Brook, but the Jays refused to let the Seawolves go on a streak. Fitzgerald put up a free-position goal, and less than two minutes later, freshman attacker Aurora Cordingley put another one on the board for the Jays, again with the assist from Heldberg, bringing the score to 7-12.
This, however, would be the last goal for the Jays, as the Seawolves scored three more goals by the end of the half, bringing the final score to 7-15.
Sophomore midfielder Caroline Hoeg reflected on the Jays’ performance at crucial moments.
“While our team did a lot of great things against Stony Brook, we tended to struggle with taking care of the ball at critical moments,” she said. “When you turn the ball over against a team like Stony Brook, they tend to convert that into a goal. We needed to be a little crisper in our fundamentals. That is what we are working on this week as we prepare for Ohio State.”
Although the final score was not what the Blue Jays were hoping for, the game did have some positive outcomes.
“This game really showed how strong we are as a cohesive group, since we never negatively got down on each other,” Fitzgerald said.
The women’s lacrosse team started the season with strong goals, and a few tough losses so far this season have not been enough to discourage their desire to achieve them.
“Our goals for the season were obviously to win a national championship and win the Big Ten Championship,” Fitzgerald said. “We have had some really hard losses this season (four one-goal losses to good teams) that for some teams would be really tough to bounce back from, but we really have not stopped working hard and pushing for a big win.”
Hoeg also commented on the team’s forward-looking outlook.
“Our goal/outlook moving forward is to take it one game at a time. We need to really start focusing and locking down for our next game against Ohio State. We only have three games left that are guaranteed to us, and we have to make the most of each one,” Hoeg said.
This week, the Jays face off against the Ohio State Buckeyes in a conference match at Homewood Field on Friday, April 20 at 5 p.m.