The women’s lacrosse team headed to Columbus, Ohio to play a pair of games against the 24th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes over the weekend. After starting the season 0-3, the Blue Jays were desperate for a victory. Both games were incredibly close, ending by a margin of just a single point.
Graduate student attackman Maggie Schneidereith discussed the team’s disappointing start.
“Since we are only playing a Big Ten schedule this season, we know that every game is going to be a competitive game,” she said. “We may have been 0-3, but we were able to learn a lot from those losses which exposed areas that we needed to work on. Going into our games against Ohio State, we were able to focus on executing what we learned in our first three losses, which helped us get two big wins. Ohio State also allows fans in their stadium, so we had the support from our parents and fans which always helps.”
Friday’s game started off well for the Buckeyes. A quick goal gave them the first lead. But less than a minute later, senior midfielder Shelby Harrison tied the game at 1-1 only three minutes into the game.
After the two early goals, neither team was able to score for several minutes. The two teams traded fouls and turnovers for six minutes until graduate student attackman Mackenzie Heldberg scored her first goal of the game to put Hopkins in the lead.
Ohio State followed with a two-goal run. The score was now 3-2. Although the lead was only one goal, the Blue Jays had seen enough leads get out of control this season. They kept the game close thanks to a goal by Schneidereith.
The Buckeyes scored again, but Hopkins was getting tired of trading goals. The Blue Jays proceeded to score three unanswered goals, bringing the score to 6-4. The teams then traded goals, bringing the score to 7-5 at halftime.
After a tight first half, the Blue Jays were looking for a more comfortable lead. They got what they were looking for as two freshmen, midfielder Abbey Hurlbrink and attackman Eliza Bowman, both scored goals. The Hopkins lead was now four points.
Ohio State answered with a three-goal run, bringing themselves to within a single point. It was proving difficult to get a commanding lead in this game, as the teams seemed to be so equally matched. That was no reason for the Blue Jays to give up.
Heldberg scored another goal to bring the score to 10-8 with about 20 minutes remaining in the game. Ohio State scored once again, but so did Heldberg. She got her third goal of the game to make the game 11-9.
The Buckeyes would not go down easily. They scored two goals and tied the game. The score was 11-11 with 14 minutes remaining. Schneidereith scored once again to give the Blue Jays the lead, but there were still 13 minutes left. The Hopkins defense played hard though, and neither team scored in the remaining time.
Hopkins had found its first win of the season. Heldberg and Schneidereith both ended with hat-tricks. In addition to getting a hat-trick and the game-winning goal, Schneidereith also moved up to seventh place in all of Division-I history for number of goals scored.
Schneidereith reflected on her game one performance.
“While the individual success is something that I am proud of, I know I wouldn’t have that success if it weren’t for my team,” she said. “I wouldn’t have been able to score the game-winning goal if it weren’t for the defense getting a big stop, the middies getting the draw or my teammate who passed me the ball in that moment. It’s a team effort and I wouldn’t be successful if it weren’t for the success of the team.”
After such an intense game, the Blue Jays were full of energy to try and win the second game of the series. This energy showed, as Hurlbrink scored the first goal of the game three minutes in.
Ohio State came out with energy as well. They responded with six unanswered goals. With five minutes remaining in the first half, the Buckeyes were winning 6-1. Things were starting to look grim for the Blue Jays.
At the one-minute mark, the score had still not changed. But Hopkins didn’t want to end the half on such a rough note. Senior attackman Aurora Cordingley scored her first goal of the game with only 48 seconds remaining in the half.
The Blue Jays weren’t done there, though. After a penalty on the Buckeyes, senior midfielder Keegan Barger scored her first goal of the season with a mere nine seconds left. Entering halftime, Hopkins was only down 6-3.
The teams traded goals for the first 10 minutes of the second half. With 18 minutes remaining, Ohio State was winning 8-5. But the Blue Jays refused to go down easily. Four consecutive goals put Hopkins in the lead. The last three of those four goals were all scored by Cordingley.
With just under three minutes remaining, Ohio State tied the game at nine goals each. With eight seconds remaining, the Buckeyes committed a foul and Harrison was able to score the resulting goal, ending the game 10-9.
Cordingley led the team with four goals while Hurlbrink had two. Hurlbrink was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for her performances in the two games.
Schneidereith looked forward to the rest of the season.
“Every game we play this season will be competitive because every team in the Big Ten is good,” she said. “Beating a team twice back-to-back isn’t easy, so being able to get those consecutive wins makes me really excited to see what we can do the rest of this season. My only personal goal is to do everything I can to contribute to our team goal of winning a Big Ten Championship and a National Championship.”
Hopkins advanced to a 2-3 record while Ohio State dropped to 1-5. The Blue Jays will face off against in-state rival University of Maryland at Homewood Field on March 12.