April 25, 2009

No. 15 Penn State Edges Hopkins, 12-11

from press release

BALTIMORE - The No. 15-ranked Penn State women's lacrosse team (8-7, 2-2 ALC) eked out a 12-11 victory over Johns Hopkins (5-11, 0-4 ALC) on Saturday afternoon at the Blue Jays' Homewood Field in Baltimore.

With the win, the Nittany Lions secure the No. 2 seed in next week's ALC championship, their highest seed ever in the three-year history of the tournament.

Johns Hopkins rallied late in the second half on Saturday and had a chance to force overtime with time winding down, but #15 Penn State forced a turnover and the Nittany Lions won 12-11. The Blue Jays fall to 5-11 on the season and 0-4 in the American Lacrosse Conference in their regular season finale. The Nittany Lions improve to 8-7 overall and 2-2 in the ALC.

Trailing 12-9 with 8:51 to play, Hopkins got goals from juniors Sam Schrum (Pasadena, MD/St. Mary's) and Angela Hughes (Manchester, MD/North Carroll) to make it a 12-11 game with 2:56 to play. Sophomore Brooke Lipinski (Phoenix, MD/Maryvale Prep) won the ensuing draw but Stephanie Ellis forced a turnover with 1:57 to play and the Nittany Lions cleared the ball. But with just 36 seconds left, Penn State lost the ball out of bounds and Hopkins took over. The Blue Jays cleared the ball and called timeout with 20 ticks on the clock. With time winding down, Hughes dodged across the middle of the arc but Maggie Dunbar checked the ball out of her stick before she could get a shot off and the horn sounded.

Freshman Colleen McCaffrey (Mount Sinai, NY/Mount Sinai) put Hopkins on the board first, scoring on a free position shot 3:35 in. Penn State answered with back-to-back goals to take a 2-1 lead with 22:41 to play. The Blue Jays responded, getting goals from freshman Candace Rossi (Farmingdale, NY/Farmingdale) and Hughes in just 75 seconds to take a 3-2 lead. Erica Mihm answered 50 seconds later, scoring her second of the day to tie it at three. Laura Lincicome then pushed the Nittany Lions back on top with her only goal of the day just 37 seconds later. Laura Lesnick converted a free position shot to give Penn State a 5-3 lead with 11:17 to play.

Hopkins again answered with a two-goal run, as McCaffrey and Hughes both found the cage, to tie the game at 5-5 with 7:19 left in the half. Penn State would take a two-goal lead into the lockerroom however, getting goals from Theresa Zichelli and Lesnick.

Penn State extended its run coming out of the half, scoring three straight to push out to a 10-5 lead with 22:51 to play. Junior Paige Ibello (Cockeysville, MD/Maryvale Prep) sandwiched a pair around a Hughes goal and the Blue Jays were down by two midway through the half. Theresa Bucci pushed the lead back to three on an unassisted tally just over three minutes later. Senior Gina Maranto (Bel Air, MD/C. Milton Wright) got that one back for the Blue Jays, scoring off a feed from freshman Rachel Ballatori (Rochester, NY/Brighton) and it was 11-9 with 9:55 remaining. Just 64 seconds later, the deficit was back to three at 12-9 after Kerry Shea scored for the Nittany Lions, setting up the Blue Jays last rally.

Hughes paced the Blue Jays with a career-high four goals, while Ballatori added a career-high three assists. McCaffrey and Ibello each scored a pair for Hopkins. Penn State was led by Mihm with four goals, while Zichelli also had a hat trick.

Hopkins returns to action on Thursday at the ALC Tournament, hosted by Penn State. Fifth-seeded Hopkins will face fourth-seeded Vanderbilt in the opening round game at 3:00 pm. The winner will face top-seeded Northwestern in the first semifinal on Friday at 3:00 pm.

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