It was an extremely one-sided affair this past Saturday on Homewood Field as the No. 16 Hopkins women’s lacrosse team gave the visiting Furman University Paladins a thrashing by a score of 20-6.
The first 15 minutes of the opening half started off even between the two squads, ending up 3-3 midway through. Sophomore attack Aurora Cordingley was a busy bee on the first three Hopkins goals, contributing two goals and assisting on the other. She would be the first to find the net for the Jays with less than two minutes into the contest with help from junior midfielder Mackenzie Heldberg.
Redshirt senior midfielder Ellie McNulty would follow up not long after, firing a shot past the Paladin goalkeeper just seconds after Cordingley found her in front of the goal. Furman would respond with its first goal of the day just 21 seconds later. After a five-minute hiatus for both teams from scoring, Furman would then tie the game and proceed by taking the lead with two goals just over two minutes.
Two straight yellow cards on Paladin defenders would give the Blue Jays two man-up opportunities, both of which they would capitalize on, with Cordingley knotting up the score at three apiece. Heldberg continued the fun by assisting senior attack Miranda Ibello on what had been her fifth goal of the year. From there, Hopkins reclaimed the lead.
The Hopkins power play goals would prove to sway the momentum back in the team’s favor for the rest of the half. Surrendering just three shots in the last thirteen minutes, the Jays would go on to rattle off six more goals in what would ultimately prove to be an 8-0 run.
The Jays’ fifth goal came on another goal from Ibello, followed by two straight goals from junior attack Maggie Schneidereith. Cordingley would be next in line in the goal parade as she earned her hat trick with just five minutes left in the first. Two more goals in the final 1:30 by senior midfielder Nicole DeMase and Heldberg would send the Blue Jays into the locker room firmly in control with a 10-3 lead.
A glimmer of hope for Furman came when midfielder/defender Kyra LaMotte was the first to find the back of the net in the second half, but that brief moment of positivity would be chewed up and spit out like Paladin-flavored bubble gum, as Hopkins buried 10 straight goals.
Heldberg would answer LaMotte’s goal just 18 seconds later, and Schneidereith would follow 31 seconds after. Another man-up opportunity led to another power play goal for the Jays, this time with junior midfielder Lexi Souder being the one to add to the Hopkins goal total. Sophomore midfielder Shelby Harrison’s following goal would break up Souder’s man-up goal from two more power play tallies, including freshman attacker Georgia Esmond’s first career goal.
The final four goals on the day would see two more Blue Jays record their first career goals, with a pair of midfielders, junior Becca Boyle and freshman Sam Leva, both finding twine for their first goals in the black and blue.
Furman would go on to score two late goals, but by then all was over but the crying as Hopkins celebrated a 20-6 victory to improve to 5-0 against the Paladins all time.
The win was important for a number of reasons, but beyond just improving their record, sophomore goalie Kathleen Garvey believes it’s revealing of the kind of team that the Blue Jays are.
“The win against Furman was a great game because we faced some challenges early on with a slow start, but we took a deep breath, and we were able to find our rhythm and tempo,” Garvey said. “It was also a great team win showcasing our depth as a program.”
Hopkins had 11 different players find the back of the cage for Hopkins as the Blue Jays scored the most goals in a game since their 20-5 win over the University of Michigan in 2014. Cordingley and Schneidereith would each earn hat tricks, and Cordingley would tie Heldberg and Ibello with a game-high six points apiece. The latter two also led in assists with four each. Between the pipes, Garvey would lead with three saves, combining with senior Haley Crosson to keep the Paladins’ offense at bay.
Beyond the point totals, Hopkins would be dominant on the stat sheet as well. The Blue Jays led in shots on goal 27-11 and ground balls 21-14, while also being relentless on defense in forcing 21 turnovers and holding Furman to 7-20 on its clearing attempts.
A hot start to the Hopkins season has the team feeling excited, but the Jays also know that while they have performed well in their opening slate, it’s only the beginning, and more challenges lay down the road.
“This season in general feels special for the women’s lacrosse team. As a program, everyone has bought in 110 percent to the goals that we and our coaches set for our program,” Garvey said. “It will be exciting to see how we respond as we move into our conference schedule and how we maintain our composure down the road.”
The win improves the Blue Jays’ record to 4-1 on the season for the second time in three years. They will next be in action Saturday, March 9, when they visit the Hofstra University Pride, with opening draw set for 3 p.m.