Last weekend renewed the Battle of Charles Street for the Hopkins women’s lacrosse program. The No. 24 Blue Jays took the short drive to the Ridley Athletic Complex to battle against the No. 11 Loyola University Maryland Greyhounds in this year’s iteration of the rivalry.
Rivalry games tend to feel special to both teams participating, but junior attackman Aurora Cordingley believes that Hopkins versus Loyola is particularly special.
“Games against Loyola are always so fun and competitive to play in. The rivalry goes back many years and is unlike any other in Division-I women’s lacrosse,” she said.
Just over a minute into the contest, the Jays’ junior midfielder Shelby Harrison opened the scoring after capitalizing off of a feed from Cordingley. Not to be outdone by their younger teammates, senior attackmen Mackenzie Heldberg and Maggie Schneidereith paired up to extend the lead to two after Schneidereith buried her fourth goal of the season.
A goal by Loyola’s midfielder Elli Kluegel cut into the early Hopkins lead, but Harrison responded shortly after when she took advantage of a free position shot to put the Jays up 3-1. The Greyhounds controlled the ensuing draw, but strong defensive play by junior defender Jeanne Kachris gave possession back to Hopkins. Cordingley recorded another assist after finding Heldberg on the ensuing offensive surge to give Hopkins a three-goal lead.
Loyola responded by clamping down defensively and taking advantage of the offensive opportunities that followed. The Hounds held the Jays scoreless for nearly the next 19 minutes while going on a five-goal run to take their first lead of the game. Cordingley stopped the bleeding with a minute and 15 seconds left in the half, but Loyola’s attackman Emily Wills scored her second goal of the day with less than 30 seconds in the half to give the Hounds a 7-5 lead going into the locker room.
Turnovers characterized the opening minutes of the second half. Hopkins and Loyola traded possession back and forth in a strong defensive showing until Cordingley ended the scoring drought to put Hopkins within a goal.
Just over a minute later, Loyola retaliated when Harrison fouled Loyola’s midfielder Jillian Wilson and gave the Hounds a free position shot. Wilson’s shot hit the back of the net to extend the Loyola lead to two and put the momentum back in their favor.
That momentum stayed with Loyola for the rest of the contest, with Wilson’s goal igniting an eventual 9-1 scoring run. The second goal of the run came after Hopkins turned the ball over, giving the Hounds the chance to transition and get back into the Jays’ offensive zone, where attackman Holly Lloyd widened the lead to 9-6. As Loyola’s offense caught fire, their goalie Kaitlyn Larsson was strong in net and turned away a pair of Hopkins’ shots after Lloyd’s goal. The second Larsson save propelled another Hounds’ offensive response, where successful, clear and good passing put the ball in midfielder Bridget Ballard’s stick. Ballard worked her way through the Hopkins’ defense and ripped a shot to further increase the Hounds’ lead.
Loyola’s lead increased further with a pair of goals in a 30-second span by attackman Livy Rosenzweig. Cordingley came up big again for the Hopkins offense and stopped the scoreless run with her third goal of the game on a man-up opportunity. The Jays couldn’t get any further momentum going following Cordingley’s goal and surrendered four more goals en route to a 16-7 loss.
Cordingley contributed heavily to the Hopkins effort, finishing with three goals and two assists. The Jays and the Hounds were similar on the stat sheet in most categories, but the difference maker came from Larsson’s 11-save performance in net that mitigated the dangerous Hopkins offense and fueled the Hounds’ momentum all game long.
Cordingley acknowledged that the loss exposed some weaknesses of the Jays, but she knows that the team has plenty of time left this season to improve.
“We have much to work on at both ends of the field in order to get where we want to be in May,” Cordingley said. “I think we need to learn from our mistakes and keep pushing each other in practice. We can’t dwell in the past because we have so many more opportunities to prove ourselves.”
Hopkins drops to 1-1 with the loss while Loyola starts their season undefeated at 1-0 and snaps up a three-game winning streak against their Baltimore rival. The Jays will next travel to the University of Pennsylvania on Saturday, Feb. 22 to take on the No. 12 Quakers.