March 21, 2014

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Hopkins Rallies to Defeat Hoyas In Overtime

by Megan Schneider | LaxMagazine.com

 
 

WASHINGTON - With an undefeated record, Johns Hopkins knew No. 15 Georgetown would give it a run for its money, and the Hoyas did. But after rallying from behind at halftime, the No. 12 Blue Jays took home their 10th straight victory, defeating the Hoyas 11-10 in overtime on Friday evening.

"Georgetown is an absolutely amazing team and we knew that there was no way they were going to roll over and die," said Hopkins head coach Janine Tucker. "They got us on our heels a little bit and did a really good job getting up on us and we just tried to stay the course, stay calm, keep our composure and just run our game plan. In the end, that ended up working out for us."

That game plan is supplemented by newly appointed assistant coach Steele Stanwick, the 2011 Tewaaraton Trophy winner, working in a pick-and-roll offense and picking up the speed for top-ranked opponents like Georgetown. Chemistry is key for the Blue Jays and with the midfield-pairing of senior captain Sammy Cermack and sophomore Dene' DiMartino, the dynamic offense capitalized on its opportunities to come out on top.

"Even if someone's a sophomore, everyone has a chance to step up," said Cermack. "It's the way our offense and our whole team runs, so I think everyone makes those plays that we need to make in the moment. Sarah Taylor is a senior coming up with a big goal at the end."

"[DiMartino] is a bull-dodger," Cermack continued, recognizing her team's leading scorers for the night – DiMartino and Taylor – who had three goals apiece. "When the slides come to her like they were coming to her, she's really quick to feed that ball. She fed it to me and we got an 8-meter and then Sarah Taylor picked it up, so I think we all work really well together on our offense."

What appears to be a battle of the beltways for Division I women's lacrosse, this marquee matchup was a continual adrenaline rush from beginning to end, with the Blue Jays scoring the first four goals in the opening three minutes of the game.

The Hoyas responded with three consecutive goals of their own to make it 4-3 only three minutes later. Hopkins senior captain and 2013 FIL World Cup alternate Taylor D'Amore broke their momemtum, notching a goal.

"I will tell you Taylor is playing the best lacrosse I've ever seen her play and she does attribute a lot of that to her experience with the U.S. team," said Tucker, but D'Amore says that her experience is not the focus. Her team is.

"It's not about any of that," said D'Amore. "We're 10-0 and it's unbelievable for Hopkins. Our word for the day was heart. Just to be able to go out there, and I think everyone would agree it wasn't our best game, but we still stuck together and pulled it out and just made the plays we needed to win at the end."

The Blue Jays had a total of 14 turnovers and 28 fouls as each team scored one more goal apiece before Georgetown's Courtney Caputo, Caroline Tarzian, Hannah Franklin and Colleen Lovett each scored to give their team an 8-6 lead at the half.

Right out of the gate, Caputo tallied another goal, making Hopkins rethink its strategy. As they returned to the field, the Blue Jays amped up their pressure, and as Georgetown's Reilly Woodman and Megan Marinelli were carded, it was now time to shine.

"When they had two cards, we capitalized and got two quick goals to bring us within one," D'Amore said. "So I think that really gave us our momentum back and got us back to where we needed to be."

Their momentum jolted to high speed, not fazed by Georgetown's Kelyn Freedman – a player on the Tewaaraton Watch List – scoring on her free position shot.

Before the clock reached zero, DiMartino, who achieved a career-high six points, stepped up as a rising leader for the Blue Jays, sinking two unassisted goals to tie the game at 10 at the end of regulation.

For six more minutes, this momentous evening for Hopkins continued. Taylor scored the game-winner and her 14th career hat trick with 4:22 remaining in overtime, and her team was determined to leave triumphant, shutting out the Hoyas until the game officially ended.

"It's a little surreal right now," Tucker said. "I'm so incredibly proud of the girls. They are making history at Hopkins, this team. We're really excited about that. But I think what we've tried to encourage them to do is to stay in the moment and understand that we have a long season ahead of us and I think they're doing a really good job of that."

Hopkins will hit the road next weekend, heading south to play Vanderbilt, while Georgetown has a quick turnaround, playing No. 20 Loyola Maryland this upcoming Tuesday at home.


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