The Hopkins women’s lacrosse team began Big Ten Conference play on Saturday against the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights. The Blue Jays won 16-9. The game was led by senior attack Nicole DeMase, who scored a game-high five goals. DeMase spoke about the team’s win.
“I think we were playing as one cohesive unit on both ends of the field, specifically in the second half which is when we started to pull away. We were sharing the ball on offense and playing unselfishly. We were also taking extra time to fake and place our shots. The defense was being more proactive than reactive, and they were hedging and sliding at the right times,” she said.
The first half was a tight battle between the two teams. Senior attack Miranda Ibello scored a quick goal to start the game, and Hopkins stayed up 1-0 for about five minutes early in the game. When the 22-minute mark rolled around, both teams scored a goal to bring the score to 2-1 in the Jays’ favor.
With 18 minutes left, sophomore attack Aurora Cordingley scored the team’s third goal to expand the lead while it was still somewhat early. However, by the time the clock showed 10 minutes, the score was 4-3 with Rutgers claiming their first lead of the game.
Senior midfielder Ellie McNulty finished off a scoring run that brought the score to 7-5 as Hopkins looked to go into halftime with a solid lead. However, with only 16 seconds left, Rutgers scored one more goal to bring the halftime score to 7-6.
Once the second half began, DeMase took the first shot, and, although the shot bounced off the post, it foreshadowed what was to come. In the first five minutes, DeMase scored three goals to bring the Jays’ lead to four points. Another quick goal by McNulty brought the lead up one more point at the 25-minute mark.
Rutgers called a timeout to regroup and try and put an end to the Blue Jays’ excellent scoring run. But nothing they could come up with could halt the Blue Jays’ march towards victory.
Both teams suffered a scoring drought until there were 19 minutes left in the game when Rutgers scored their first goal of the half. Quick goals by both teams brought the score up to 12-8 with 17 minutes left.
Another drought ensued until DeMase scored her fifth goal to extend the lead with seven minutes to go. Rutgers never made much of a comeback and some late goals by Hopkins brought the final score to 16-9. DeMase talked about her individual second half performance.
“I was just being more aggressive and was dodging much more. I felt like I figured out how I could beat my defender and the ball was finding me a lot more in the second half, which definitely helps,” she said.
Hopkins has never lost to Rutgers and is now 5-0 against them all time. Hopkins improved to 8-2 for the season and is 1-0 in Big Ten Conference play. Nicole DeMase’s five goals tied her career high. DeMase looked forward to the team’s next game against Michigan on Saturday.
“Something our team focuses on is improving each game. Our coaches preach that mistakes are going to be made in a game, but we don’t want to be making the same mistakes over and over again. We want to learn from them and fix them. This weekend we play Michigan in another Big Ten game. They are good and it will require another team effort to get the win. We want to learn and grow from our Rutgers game and use it to prepare us for Michigan as well as for the rest of our games this season,” she said.