Friday afternoon, the women’s lacrosse team took on the Ohio State University Buckeyes, as the Blue Jay seniors competed on Homewood Field for one last time in their collegiate careers. The Jays asserted their dominance on Senior Night, as the 25th-ranked women’s team went on a nine-goal run to take a 13-5 victory over their Big Ten opponent.
Senior attacker Chloe Duke commented on the team’s win.
“This was a very big win for our team. We needed this win in order to continue on our path to the Big Ten tournament. We started off a little slow, but then we really kicked it into gear,” Duke said. “Everyone played very unselfishly and hustled for every loose ball which lead to a solid win for us. It was a great way to celebrate Senior Night.”
Ohio started strong, opening the game’s first 10 minutes with a 3-0 lead. However, a three-goal deficit did not intimidate the Jays, as sophomore midfielder Mackenzie Heldberg fired first for Hopkins at the 17:37 mark. Senior midfielder Shannon Fitzgerald followed with two consecutive goals to tie up the game at 3-3.
Heldberg did not stop there, as she gave the Jays their first lead of the game with a crafty left-handed shot. After ongoing back-and-forth action, the Blue Jays gained a considerable lead going into the half. They scored three goals within the last three minutes of the half, improving their lead to 7-3.
To start the second half, freshman midfielder Shelby Harrison scored her first goal of the game. Quickly following, sophomore attacker Maggie Schneidereith capitalized on a Buckeye turnover, pushed the Jays’ lead to six. Ohio State ended the Jays’ run at 15:06, but it was not long until the Jays picked up with another three-goal run. The scoreboard read 12-4 with just over six minutes left in the game.
Ohio made one last attempt to regain momentum with another goal. However, Hopkins proved to be too dominant, as Duke scored her first goal of the season to secure the 13-5 win.
Duke reflected on scoring her first goal of the season.
“It was very exciting and even more special that the assist came from fellow senior CeCe Finney. It was also nice that my family was there to see it. We work so hard during the week in practice,” Duke said. “Each and every one of us pushing each other to get better; so it is a good feeling to see that work pay off on the field.”
After Friday’s game, the Jays improve their all-time record against the Buckeyes to 11-6 and have won three of the last four matchups.
Fitzgerald has moved up to 11th in school Division-I history, totaling 142 career points. Junior attacker Miranda Ibello also moved up in the ranks, as she is now tied for sixth with 55 assists.
After playing in her last regular season game under the lights of Homewood Field, Duke reflected on the legacy her and her classmates hope to leave on the women’s lacrosse program.
“I think our senior class as a whole has really worked hard this year to leave behind a culture that the team will carry on once we are gone,” Duke said. “We are a super close team this year, and we hope the future teams at Hopkins can share the same bond.”
The Blue Jays return to Homewood this afternoon at 4 p.m. to face off the Towson University Tigers and will close off regular season play on Saturday, April 28 against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
“Our goal is to work together to win our last two games and extend our season to the Big Ten and NCAA Tournament,” Duke said.