Cyr sends Penn State past Johns Hopkins, locks share of ALC regular-season crown
BALTIMORE -- Junior attacker Mackenzie Cyr scored the game-winning goal with 31 seconds remaining as No. 6 Penn State clinched a share of its first ALC regular-season championship with a 15-14 victory against No. 19 Johns Hopkins at Homewood Field on Sunday.
The Nittany Lions (11-4, 4-1 ALC), who won their fourth consecutive game, earned their first 4-1 conference season since 2006 and secured the No. 3 seed for the upcoming ALC championships. Penn State, which shares the ALC crown with Florida and Northwestern, will face sixth-seeded Vanderbilt in the opening round of the ALC tournament May 2.
After trailing by a 14-11 margin, Penn State ended the game on a 4-0 run as it edged the Blue Jays in its ALC finale. Freshman Madison Cyr, who scored twice, sparked the comeback with a man-up, free-position marker before sophomore midfielder Kelly Lechner netted two of her career-high five goals to tie the game at 14.
With the game tied, Johns Hopkins controlled the ensuing draw, but freshman Ally Heavens drew a charge near the Nittany Lion cage to give Penn State possession. With the clock winding down, sophomore attacker Maggie McCormick fed a cutting Mackenzie Cyr, who fired a left-handed shot past Johns Hopkins' (9-6, 1-3 ALC) Cosette Larash for the winning score. Penn State's 15-14 lead was only its third of the game and first since it was 6-5.
McCormick finished the contest with a team-high six points (three goals and three assists), while Cyr, who moved to seventh all-time on the program's career assists list, extended her point-scoring streak to 22 games with a four-point outing (one goal and three assists). Freshman midfielder Jenna Mosketti netted three markers, while sophomore Tatum Coffey added a three-point game (one goal and two assists).
Penn State outshot Johns Hopkins 26-22 and topped the Blue Jays in ground balls (12-8) and draw controls (16-15). The Nittany Lions were 8-for-11 on clears and converted 4 of 7 free-position shots, while freshman goalkeeper Emi Smith made two saves. Taylor D'Amore led the Blue Jays with eight points (three goals and five assists), while Larash made five stops.
In a game of runs, Johns Hopkins took an early 4-1 advantage before the Nittany Lions clawed back and grabbed a 6-5 lead. After McCormick opened the scoring 52 seconds after the opening draw, the Blue Jays employed a 4-0 run en route to a three-goal advantage. On McCormick's goal, Cyr ran down the right side of the field before finding McCormick, who was cutting in front of the goal circle.
D'Amore netted back-to-back markers in a 1:07 span before Katie Duffey scored a man-up marker and Sarah Taylor added a score with 23:12 remaining in the half as Johns Hopkins ran to a 4-1 advantage.
The Nittany Lions answered Johns Hopkins' 4-0 run with five of the next six markers. Following a turnover, Mosketti cleared the ball after a great individual effort and, after drawing a foul, fired a free-position shot to the back of the net at 8:52 of the frame
McCormick added her second goal of the afternoon after she scored off Coffey's pass. With 19:30 left, Mosketti tied the game at four after she corralled McCormick's pass while cutting through the middle of the circle and scoring. After Taylor gave Johns Hopkins a 5-4 lead, Lechner and Coffey netted one goal each as the Nittany Lions took the 6-5 lead.
After a save from Smith, senior defender Katie Guy cleared the ball down the left side of the field before feeding Lechner for the goal with 12:36 remaining. Coffey gave the Nittany Lions their first lead since 1-0 when she dodged around a defender and tallied 46 seconds after Lechner's strike. Johns Hopkins' Dene' DiMartino scored with 19 seconds remaining in the frame to make it 6-6.
The Blue Jays opened the second half on a 5-2 run as they took an 11-8 lead. Jen Cook scored for Johns Hopkins 21 seconds into the half before Madison Cyr took a pass from her sister, Mackenzie, and scored a man-up marker from outside the circle. D'Amore and Taylor tallied for Johns Hopkins in a 51-second span to give the Blue Jays a 9-7 advantage before McCormick brought the Nittany Lions to within a goal with 25:39 remaining.
Johns Hopkins extended its lead to 11-8 when DiMartino and Sammy Cermack netted markers, but Lechner scored twice and Mosketti added her third of the game as Penn State tied the game at 11 with 17:41 remaining.
With 15:50 left in the game, the Blue Jays began a 3-0 run as they took a 14-11 lead. Jenna Reifler opened the scoring before Cermack and DiMartino added markers, the final coming with 7:47 left on the clock.
Beginning with Madison Cyr's goal with 6:42 left in the game, the Nittany Lions fired four unanswered goals as they edged the Blue Jays. After Johns Hopkins was called for a three-second violation, Cyr fired a free-position goal with 6:42 left in the game.
Lechner netted her first of back-to-back goals 40 seconds after Cyr's strike and added her final goal on a free-position attempt with 4:54 remaining.