Originally scheduled to play on Friday, the Hopkins women’s lacrosse team faced off against the Penn State Nittany Lions on Thursday, April 18 instead due to expected severe weather. Despite the change, both teams still gave it their all, as the game stayed close until the very end.
The game started off well for Hopkins when senior attackman Miranda Ibello scored the first goal four minutes into the game. Unfortunately Penn State was also looking to start strong, and with 18 minutes to go in the half, the score was 2-1 in their favor.
Neither team scored for another eight minutes as most of the first half was characterized by a lack of scoring from both sides. But with 10 and a half minutes left in the first half, Penn State scored another goal.
After another scoring drought, this one lasting five minutes, redshirt senior midfielder Ellie McNulty scored a second goal for Hopkins. This brought the score to 3-2 with five minutes left in the half.
The last five minutes were unlike the entire rest of the half. Seven goals were scored in the last five minutes, compared to the five that had been scored in the previous 15. It started with a three-goal string by Penn State, putting the Nittany Lions up four goals.
This run of unanswered goals was ended when McNulty scored her second goal with three minutes left in the half. Junior attackman Maggie Schneidereith added another goal to the total off an assist from McNulty.
Penn State scored one more goal before junior midfielder Lexi Souder scored the last goal of the half with only 12 seconds left on the clock. The score going into halftime was left at 7-5 in Penn State’s favor.
To open the second half, Penn State went on another scoring run, snagging three unanswered goals in the first four minutes of the half.
After eight minutes things looked dim for the Blue Jays as senior midfielder and attackman Nicole DeMase had added two goals, but Penn State had added three more again. The score was 13-7 with 22 minutes to play.
Nevertheless, Hopkins fought back and scored an impressive six unanswered goals. Two of these goals were scored by Ibello, one by sophomore attackman Aurora Cordingley, one by DeMase, one by McNulty and one by sophomore midfielder Shelby Harrison. Hopkins had now tied the game at 13-13 with ten minutes left.
Ibello talked about the team’s mindset in close games like this one.
“Throughout the whole game I feel like we dominated possession of the ball even though the score didn’t show that. In the first half, Penn State went up a couple goals, and we were having trouble finishing our shots. When the second half came around, we started playing faster and taking an extra second before every shot to think about our placement. This was why we were able to come back from six goals to make it a one-goal game with only a couple of minutes left,“ she said.
Penn State and McNulty traded goals to bring the score to 14-14 with four minutes left. Penn State scored a goal, and an unfortunate yellow card on Hopkins allowed them to get another. DeMase tried to start a comeback with one last goal, but it wasn’t enough as Hopkins fell 16-15.
Ibello discussed how the team views a tough loss.
“The Big Ten Conference has awesome competition, and Penn State is one of the great teams that is a part of it. We are going into this next week of practice with intensity and excitement,“ she said.
Hopkins now sits on the border, unsure of whether they will make it to the Big Ten Tournament for the third year in a row or not.
To secure a tournament berth, Hopkins will need to win their game this Saturday against the University of Maryland, College Park and hope Penn State loses their game.
Ibello looked forward to this exciting opportunity.
“All games against Big Ten opponents are extremely important, but approaching this crucial game against a team like Maryland is even more exciting!” she said. “We are looking forward to bouncing back from Penn State and leaving it all on the field!”
The Blue Jays will be sure to give it their all this weekend, as this is their last chance to alter the course of their season. The game will be at the University of Maryland, so they will compete against a hostile crowd.