W. Lacrosse upsets No. 9 Loyola in home opener

By BRANDON WOLFE | February 21, 2019

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HOPKINSSPORTS.COM The Blue Jays are now 2-0 to start the season.

While you may not notice anything different about it while walking to class this week, make no mistake: Charles Street belongs to the Hopkins women’s lacrosse team, as the No. 23 Blue Jays battled the Loyola University Maryland Greyhounds Saturday at Homewood Field and knocked off the No. 9 Greyhounds by a score of 13-11.

Hopkins faced adversity early as the Greyhounds got out to a quick two-goal lead less than four minutes into the contest. However, Redshirt senior midfielder Ellie McNulty was able to cut the Greyhound lead to just one with her fifth goal of the season, but Loyola was able to rattle off two goals in just 20 seconds to give the Hounds a 4-1 lead just 7:12 into the matchup.

McNulty would once again be the party pooper for the Greyhounds goal parade with another shot that found the back of the cage for her second goal on the day, which senior Emily Cooper issued the responding goal for with help from senior Lindsey Ehrhardt. 

Despite the momentum being on the sideline of the green and grey, Hopkins refused to bow down and swung the energy back to the Blue Jay bench with three straight goals. Sophomore midfielder Shelby Harrison kicked off the run of unassisted goals and was joined by junior midfielder Mackenzie Heldberg and junior attack Maggie Schneidereith, as Hopkins knotted up the score at five apiece.

Loyola responded barely 30 seconds after Schneidereith’s strike, and sophomore Sam Fiedler extended the Greyhound lead to two once again, as they took a 7-5 lead against the Jays with just 10 minutes left in the first half.

As they had all game, Hopkins once again was resilient, which paid off in the form of a 5-0 run. This run was also kicked off by Harrison, firing a rocket past the Loyola goaltender for her second goal of the day. Sophomore attack Aurora Cordingley would score the tying goal not even a minute later, and Schneidereith would give the Jays their first lead of the day when she took a pass from senior midfielder Nicole DeMase and found twine for her second goal of the day. 

Cordingley and Harrison would combine to solidify the lead in the closing minutes of the first half with a goal each, as the scoreboard read 10-7 Hopkins with both teams heading to the locker room. 

Just like the score, the stats between the two teams reflected the constant battle between the squads, with neither gaining much of an edge in any category.

The Hounds repeated their early start from the first half in the second as sophomore Elli Kluegel once again was the first one on the board, taking a pass from her classmate Emily Beier and cutting the lead to two. 

Schneidereith would deliver the answering goal just 50 seconds later as the junior tallied her second straight hat trick. This regained three-goal lead would only last 18 seconds however, with Beier assisting on Powers’ own hat trick goal to cut the lead to two. Then, Kluegel joined in on the hat trick hot streak when the Hounds found a chance playing shorthanded, due to a yellow card issued to sophomore Livy Rosenzweig, to get into the Hopkins zone and find the back of the net and put the game within one.

Hopkins would get another man-up opportunity when senior Taylor VanThof was issued a yellow card of her own, but this time the Jays would take advantage of it, with Cordingley receiving help from Schneidereith on the way to her second goal of the game that gave the Blue Jays another two-goal lead.

Fiedler would record her second goal of the afternoon when she was awarded a free-position shot and took advantage to once again shorten the deficit, but Harrison would score her fourth goal just a minute and a half later to give Hopkins a 13-11 lead halfway through the second half.

Compared to the offensively-heavy first half, the second half would be primarily led by the defenses of each team, solidified by the fact that Harrison’s goal would be the final change to the scoreboard of the game. The stout defensive play saw a combined seven turnovers forced between the teams to only five shots on goal in the final 15 minutes.

While the Hounds and the Jays were dead even at seven shots apiece, the difference in the second half came from turnovers and ground balls, which gave the Blue Jays an advantage as they were able to keep the Loyola offense away from the ball. Forcing 11 second-half turnovers and collecting 12 ground balls, the Jays were frustrating their opponents and not giving them much breathing room to move the ball around.

In a hard-fought battle, from Heldberg’s perspective, it was the ability of the Jays to recover from their mistakes and continue to play with energy that was the deciding factor.

“We’re super pumped to beat such a great Loyola team especially because it is such a big rivalry,” Heldberg said. “I think everyone was all in throughout the game and when we made a mistake most of the times, we covered each other and got it back. We played unselfish and with so much joy for each other!” 

The win is momentous for more reasons than just bragging rights against a rival: It was also Hopkins’ first win over a top 10 team since 2017, when the team knocked off No. 10 Pennsylvania State University. The Blue Jays will get a chance to accomplish this feat once again when they host the No. 10 Quakers from the University of Pennsylvania this Saturday on Homewood Field at 1 p.m.

Despite the big win for the program, Heldberg maintained that this is just one game in a long season and all eyes are now on the Quakers. 

“While we are super pumped up, we have a lot more to accomplish this season and it all starts with going against an amazing team in UPenn this Saturday.”

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