Strong finish boosts Hopkins women

May 15, 1994|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun Staff Writer

Johns Hopkins' women's lacrosse team had seen all this before.

Yesterday's 13-9 victory over Denison in an NCAA Divison III quarterfinal at Homewood Field was nearly a carbon copy of last year's first-round meeting.

The No. 3 Blue Jays (16-0) looked tentative early but rallied with six straight goals midway through the second half to pull away from a 7-7 tie. Last year, the Jays needed six straight goals to pull out a 12-9 win.

"When it was tied at 7-7, everyone on the team saw it starting to slip away," said Hopkins attacker Rebecca Savage. "We've seen that before and everyone decided to step it up. That's when things started to click."

Defender Maren Olsen broke the tie and put the Jays ahead to stay on a free position with 19:46 to play. A Denison defender clipped Olsen's stick on the shot, slowing it down just enough to catch off guard keeper Lisa Antonille, who had a sensational 19-save performance.

Then Hopkins, which controlled 11 of 14 second-half draws and outshot the Big Red 23-12 in the half, rolled up five more goals over the next 18 minutes. Jenn Ward, who led the Blue Jays with four goals and an assist, scored three in the run and Savage added two.

At the same time, the Blue Jays' Olsen, Jocelyn Polston, Nancy Lentz, Trixie Sabundayo, Beth Cariello and keeper Lisa Hensley (11 saves) picked up the team defense to hold off the Big Red (12-3).

"We played much better defense in the second half," said Blue Jays coach Janine Tucker. "I don't think we played a sharp game. Denison put a lot of pressure on us and they were a lot more aggressive than we were in the beginning."

Denison took a 2-0 lead on its first two shots while Antonille saved the first three Hopkins shots.

Savage, who leads the Jays in goals with 51, barely touched the ball in the first 18 minutes. Denison's Tori Lyall, a McDonogh graduate, drew the tough assignment of trying to hold off Savage, the Centennial Conference Player of the Year.

"We've been preparing for her speed," said Lyall. "I tried to stick with her and deny her, but she's a good player. This is probably the toughest thing I've had to do all season."

Savage, who finished with four goals, scored on her second shot battling against the double-team to turn and fire a high rocket past Antonille. That gave the Jays a 4-3 lead and Sarah Appleman added one more for a 5-3 halftime edge.

The lead went to 6-3 when Savage opened the second half running off the draw for a goal in the first 10 seconds.

But Denison scored four of the next five goals to tie at 7-7.

The Blue Jays advance to Saturday's semifinals at College Park. They will play the winner of yesterday's Franklin & Marshall-William Smith game at 12:30.

William-Smith, ranked No. 2, knocked off the Jays 20-9 in last year's semifinal.

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