COLLEGE PARK -- The Johns Hopkins women's lacrosse team learned the limitations of scouting reports in its NCAA Division III semifinal against William Smith (N.Y.) yesterday.
Distributing scoring among nine players, second-ranked William Smith extended its win streak to 14 and advanced to today's championship game by routing No. 8 Johns Hopkins, 20-9, at Byrd Stadium.
William Smith (15-1) faces two-time defending champion Trenton State (N.J.) at 12:30 p.m. today at Byrd in a rematch of last year's title game. Trenton State defeated Franklin & Marshall, 11-9, for its 41st consecutive victory.
DTC "We knew that [the Herons] were good but I saw a team full of athletes on the field," said Johns Hopkins head coach Sally Beth Anderson, who saw no game film on William Smith. "It was not one person either and that's their strength."
Johns Hopkins (13-3) contained the Herons early. Jennifer Ward's goal past a clustered William Smith defense closed the Blue Jays to within 4-3 with 15:24 left in the first half. Ward led Johns Hopkins with four goals on seven shots.
The Blue Jays, however, would not get another shot off in their next three possessions and were held scoreless for nearly 13 minutes. The physical William Smith defense converged on almost every Blue Jays attempt to drive toward the goal.
"We were just running the ball into the middle and not passing it," Hopkins senior attackman Kathy Sokolowski said.
While the defense shut down Hopkins, the Herons' attack scored on seven of its last 11 shots of the half to take an 11-5 lead.
"They scored three-quarters of their goals off their passing," Hopkins senior defenseman Kelly Carver [Towson] said. "We weren't marking off players at midfield. By the time they got to our goal, there was always a girl open at the end."
William Smith, with its up-tempo, spread offense that averages more than 17 goals per game, exploited Hopkins goalkeeper Lisa Hensley's aggressiveness. Hensley, a first-team regional All-American, frequently decided to challenge the oncoming -Z attackmen. She finished with 14 saves.
"We could fake once and she was out of the cage," William Smith senior defenseman Beth Onderdonk said. "That was her style but it hurt her in the long run."
Johns Hopkins attempted a comeback with unassisted goals by Sokolowski and Shereen Chen four minutes into the second half -- its only back-to-back scores in the game. But William Smith countered with four unanswered goals in 12 minutes.
Amy Hoover and Kristen McCarthy led the Herons with six points each. Hoover, a sophomore attackman, has 169 points in her college career.
William Smith, the sister school of men's lacrosse Division III powerhouse Hobart, lost to Trenton State in last year's final, 5-3.
William Smith 11 9 -- 20
Johns Hopkins 5 4 -- 9