Late goals, defense lift JHU to upset
Hopkins snaps eight-game losing streak to the Wildcats
BALTIMORE -- Johns Hopkins scored three goals in an eight-minute span late in the second half and forced three turnovers in the final three minutes to upset second-ranked Northwestern, 12-11, on a rain-soaked Homewood Field Saturday afternoon in American Lacrosse Conference action. The Blue Jays win their second straight to improve to 9-5 on the season and 1-2 in the ALC, while the Wildcats lose their second straight to fall to 12-2 and 2-2 in the conference.
Shannon Smith scored to give Northwestern a 10-9 lead with 15:12 to play when she dodged left to right across the arc and scored her team-leading 46th goal of the season but first of the afternoon. The Blue Jays answered just eight seconds later however as senior Brooke Foussadier won the ensuing draw and passed to a wide-open Katie Duffey, who ran uncontested to the cage and buried her second of the day to knot the game at 10 apiece.
A little less than two minutes later, Hopkins took its second lead of the game. Foussadier dodged to the goal from behind, drew a defender and then passed to Rachel Ballatori, who was wide open on the left post. Ballatori one-timed Foussadier's pass into the open net at 13:08 to put the Blue Jays up 11-10. With the clock ticking under nine minutes, the Wildcats' Brianne LoManto made a save on Candace Rossi but the Wildcats were offside and Hopkins got the ball back. Ninety-seconds later, the Blue Jays made them pay when Colleen McCaffrey took a pass from Rossi up high and ripped a shot from seven meters out past LoManto to stake Hopkins to a 12-10 lead with 7:09 still to play.
Northwestern cut the deficit to one just 45 seconds later, however, when Smith fed a behind-the-cage pass to a cutting Alex Frank, who put it home to make it 12-11. The Wildcats won the ensuing draw but after a shot missed wide and a second clanked off the post, Rachel Serio scooped up a ground ball and Hopkins cleared. The Blue Jays were able to kill more than two minutes of clock before the `Cats forced a turnover. But they were unable to clear it and Hopkins took over once again. NU forced another turnover and looked to have a chance to tie it when Brooke Matthews earned a free position shot with 1:52 to play. Instead of shooting, she attempted a pass but Sarah Taylor tipped it and Duffey was able to pick up the loose ball. The Blue Jays milked another minute off the clock before losing the ball but Hopkins got it right back when Alyssa Kildare forced a Northwestern turnover. This time Hopkins was able to run out the clock and earn its biggest upset in program history.
McCaffrey finished with three goals on three shots, while Foussadier had a career-high-tying four points on two goals and two assists. She also controlled three draws and grabbed a pair of ground balls. Ballatori, Rossi and Duffey also had multi-goal games for the Blue Jays. Cosette Larash finished with eight saves in the win, including five in the first half.
Early on, Northwestern seemed to have all the momentum as the `Cats pushed out to a 3-0 lead in the game's opening five minutes. Hopkins would answer as Foussadier and Rossi scored a pair of goals just 74 seconds apart to cut the deficit to one. NU retook its three-goal lead on strikes from Matthews and Kara Mupo as the `Cats led 5-2 with 13:37 to play in the half. Foussadier and Rossi once again answered, this time in just a 65-second span as the pair ignited a 4-1 run that saw Hopkins tie the game on Duffey's free position goal with 1:05 on the clock. Taylor Thorton would answer with a free position goal for the Wildcats, however, as they took a 7-6 lead into the locker room.
Hopkins came out quick to start the second as McCaffrey scored back-to-back goals to give Hopkins an 8-7 lead, its first of the game, with less than seven minutes gone. Northwestern retook the lead with a pair of back-to-back goals from Gabriella Flibotte and Matthews to make it a 9-8 game. Just 37 seconds after Matthews scored to put the `Cats on top, Ballatori took a pass in the slot from Rachel Serio, turned and buried her first of two on the day to tie the game at 9-9 at 17:21 and setting up an exciting finish.
Matthews notched a hat trick as she was the only player to finish with multiple goals for the `Cats, while Smith (one goal, one assist) and Frank (one goal, one assist) each finished with two points. LoManto had a pair of saves for Northwestern in the loss.
Hopkins snaps an eight-game losing streak to Northwestern as the second-ranked Wildcats are the highest ranked opponent the Blue Jays have ever beaten. It also marks the first time in school history that Hopkins has beaten two top-five opponents in the same season as Hopkins beat then No. 4 Penn, 8-5, on March 23. It is the Blue Jays' first win against the Wildcats since a 14-7 win in Nashville on March 28, 2003. Northwestern lost back-to-back games for the first time since 2003, when the `Cats lost three in a row.