February 24, 2012

Hopkins Still Perfect After Routing Denver

from press release

BALTIMORE, Md. - Host Johns Hopkins women's lacrosse team used runs of six and eight goals to take control of the game en route to a 20-5 win over Denver in the Blue Jays' home opener Friday afternoon. The Blue Jays got goals from seven different players and four had hat tricks as the Jays improve to 3-0 on the season. The Pioneers, playing their season opener, fall to 0-1.

It didn't take long for Hopkins to get on the board, as senior Rachel Ballatori, from goal-line extended, found junior Courtney Schweizer wide open on the crease. Schweizer took the pass, faked a shot then went high to low on Ashley Harman to put JHU up just 35 seconds in. The Blue Jays wouldn't find the twine again for more than 10 minutes, but they would score two in a span of just 25 seconds to triple their lead. Sophomore Taylor D'Amore dodged from behind the cage and fired home her sixth of the season at 19:17. D'Amore then found Ballatori alone in front and she one-timed it past Harman.

After a five-minute dry spell, Hopkins got three quick goals in an 82-second spurt from D'Amore, sophomore Sammy Cermack and Rossi as they took a 6-0 lead with 12:28 to play. Denver got on the board at 11:43 as Mikayla Clark cashed in on a free-position shot. But just 57 seconds later, Rossi took the ball to the cage from midfield and after beating several defenders, scored the first of her career-high-tying five goals. That ignited an eight-goal run that bridged the first and second halves and saw the Blue Jays push their lead to 14-1. Rossi completed her hat trick before the run was complete, as did Ballatori, who put the punctuation on the run at 21:45.

Kara Secora, who ranked 11th in the nation last season in points per game, finally got her first of the season and put an end to Hopkins' run at the 20:41 mark. Melissa Maier controlled the draw off Ballatori's third goal and carried into the offensive end before finding Secora for the Pioneers' second goal. Hopkins answered with yet another run, this one a four-goal spurt in just five and a half minutes, to take an 18-2 lead. D'Amore capped the run with her fourth of the day and ninth on the season at 9:45. But it came on a great heads-up play by junior Monica Fischer, who intercepted Hannah Hook's clearing pass, and found D'Amore all alone in the slot with a great pass. The teams traded goals over the final nine minutes to account for the 20-5 final.

Rossi (5g, 1a), Ballatori (4g, 2a) and D'Amore (4g, 2a) each notched six points for the Blue Jays, while D'Amore also snagged a game and career-high eight draw controls. Her eight draws are just one shy of the school Division I record, held by Jamie Larrimore. Ballatori and Schweizer each had career highs in both goals and points in the win. The Pioneers did not have a multi-goal scorer for the game. Hopkins held Denver to just 10 shots while forced the Pioneers into 14 failed clears, on 20 attempts, and a total of 25 turnovers.

Hopkins returns to action and plays the second of its four straight home games on Wednesday, February 29 as Loyola makes the short trip to Homewood Field. Opening draw is slated at 7:00 pm for the first meeting between the two since 1982.


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