April 28, 2012

Seniors Lead No. 19 Hopkins Past No. 13 Ohio State

by Clare Lochary | LaxMagazine.com | Live Blog Replay

Senior Colleen McCaffrey (right) scored two goals Saturday against Ohio State, as Johns Hopkins picked up its first ALC victory of the season.

BALTIMORE -- On Senior Day, senior midfielder Candace Rossi wanted a win for Johns Hopkins. On the strength of 10 goals from the senior class, including a team-high four from Rossi, she got it. The No. 19 Blue Jays upset No. 13 Ohio State, 12-9, rallying from a 4-0 deficit midway through the first half to defeat the Buckeyes.

"We had one last game on Homewood together, and we stuck with our game plan," Rossi said.

The tough, gritty game, featuring a combined 62 fouls and eight yellow cards, was Johns Hopkins' first American Lacrosse Conference league win of the season. The Blue Jays are now a 8-8 overall and 1-4 in conference. The Buckeyes fall to 10-5 overal and 1-4 in the ALC.

"We were sloppy early, but we wanted to put as complete a game together as we could," said Hopkins head coach Janine Tucker. "Defensively we were trying to win the ground ball war."

The Blue Jays did have a ground ball advantage (23-19) and that, along with an 11-save performance by junior goalie Cosette LaRash, kept them in a game that started slowly. Ohio State opened scoring when Alayna Markwordt (2g, 2a) dished a pass to Gabby Capuzzi (4g) at the 28:34 mark. Ohio State reeled off three goals after that one to build a 4-0 lead with 19:54 left in the first half.

By contrast, the Blue Jays had barely had a possession.

Hopkins finally broke through when senior Colleen McCaffrey (2g, 1a) put a bounce shot past Ohio State keeper Tori DeScenza (four saves). McCaffrey's goal kicked off a three-goal run that was only stopped when Markwordt caught LaRash out of the net on a clear, forcing a turnover and scoring on an empty net to give the Buckeyes a 5-3 lead at the 7:49 mark.

Rossi scored back-to-back goals to enter halftime tied 5-5. Hopkins reeled off five more unanswered goals to build a 10-5 lead midway through the second half. Overall, six different players scored during the seven-goal run that put the Blue Jays on top for good.

"It was a little bit of an adjustment for us, going to a more freelance offense against a very aggressive, athletic Ohio State defense," Tucker said.

Defensively, the Blue Jays clamped down, with junior defender Sophia Sherry marking Markwordt, the Buckeyes' all-time leading scorer. Ohio State had a 28:58 scoring drought stretching over both halves, which lasted until Katie Chase scored on a free position shot to cut Hopkins' lead to 10-6. The Buckeyes strung together a late 3-0 run to cut the score to 11-9, but it was not enough.

"Our main theme on defense, we've really had this thing where life is in moments. That goal was in the past. Take each moment as it comes," LaRash said. "Sophia did an awesome job shutting down [Markwordt] and when my defense plays well, that's when I can play well."

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