BALTIMORE – #17 Johns Hopkins scored the first seven goals of the game and led by four or more the rest of the way to hand the Saint Joseph's women's lacrosse squad a 17-11 loss in a cold, non-conference match-up at Homewood Field on Wednesday afternoon. The loss snaps a two-game winning streak for the Hawks (2-3) while the Blue Jays improve to 5-1.
All three of SJU's losses this season have now come to nationally-ranked opposition.
In a physical game that saw 14 total cards, 12 of them yellow, the Blue Jays scored five of their goals with a man-up advantage. Johns Hopkins also held Saint Joseph's to just one goal on seven free-position shots.
Senior attacker Francesca Donato, who recorded the 100th point of her career with her first goal of the game, led SJU with four points (3g, 1a). Junior midfielder Bridget Cerciello added a second-half hat trick, twice scoring while being fouled, and added a team-high five draw controls, while sophomore attacker Sam McGee chipped in one goal and two helpers.
Johns Hopkins scored seven times over the opening 15:44 to take hold of a 7-0 advantage by the 14:16 mark of the first.
The Hawks responded with a three-goal run of their own, in a 71-second span, as McGee (13:30) and back-to-back goals from Donato (12:55, 12:19, the latter assisted by McGee) closed SJU's deficit to four, 7-3, entering the final 12:19 of the first half.
The Blue Jays scored twice more to close out the first half (8:14, 7:37) with a 9-3 lead.
Saint Joseph's matched Johns Hopkins' second-half scoring efforts as each team put up eight goals apiece in the final 30:00.
The Blue Jays scored three of the first five goals of the second half (27:00, 24:03, 22:26), with SJU goals from sophomore attacker Stephanie Kelly (26:46) and Cerciello (23:34) sandwiched in between, to take a 12-5 lead into the final 22:26.
However, the veteran Hawk trio of Cerciello (20:31), Donato (20:03), and Sabol (16:58) put together a three-goal run to earn momentum for the Crimson and Gray and to pull SJU to within four, 12-8, entering the final 16:58 of regulation.
The Hawks and Blue Jays alternated a pair of goals as freshman midfielder Sophia Kolkka (15:02) and Sabol (12:02) kept the Hawks within that four-goal window entering the final 12:02.
From there, Johns Hopkins closed the game on a 3-1 run.
For the game, Saint Joseph's held a 33-29 edge in shots, but Johns Hopkins landed a remarkable 27 of its 29 shots on goal to force the offensive pressure. The Hawks also won the ground ball game (23-18), paced by four apiece from junior Julia Pash and senior Sinead Brierley on the back line, while the Blue Jays won 18 of 30 total possessions from the circle.
In her first taste against nationally-ranked competition, freshman goalkeeper Amber Weedon (2-1) made six saves vs. 11 goals allowed in the first 36:26. Sophomore goalkeeper Corinne Buttner came in for the final 23:34, making four saves vs. six goals allowed in her second appearance of the season.
Of note, the Hawks were perfect in clearing, going 22-for-22 on the day.
Saint Joseph's continues its three-game road stretch at Lafayette (3-1) this Saturday, March 9. Opening draw control at Fisher Stadium in Easton, Pa. is set for 4:00 p.m.