Hopkins women defeat Princeton

Blue Jays maintain lead despite Tigers' comeback

Johns Hopkins 8 Princeton 7


For the past few years, Johns Hopkins has slowly but steadily climbed through the ranks of Division I women's lacrosse. Yesterday, the Blue Jays took a giant step into the upper echelon.

No. 6 Hopkins ran up an early five-goal lead and held on to upset No. 3 Princeton, 8-7, at Homewood Field. The Tigers, who have made eight straight appearances in the NCAA tournament with titles in 2002 and 2003, are the highest-ranked team the Blue Jays have beaten in eight years as a Division I program.

All-America attacker Mary Key, who finished with three goals and three assists, rolled the crease with 15:14 left and scored on a behind-the-back shot that held up as the game-winner.

This marked only the second meeting between the two programs. The Tigers won, 9-6, last year, but Key said the Blue Jays were eager to meet them again.

"Last year when we started playing them it was great to have a big-name team - top three almost every year, been to the final four a lot," Key said. "We saw it as an opportunity. If we beat them, we're right in that. We knew coming in we could play with them. Knowing we beat Princeton in our second game of the season, it's awesome."

The victory fuels the high hopes the Blue Jays have after falling in the first round of the NCAA tournament the past two years.

"We've all said from Day One that we're here to play in the national championship and that mentality definitely came over in this game, because we know it takes each game to make it to that end," said senior goalie Lauren Riddick, who had four saves, including two on free-position shots during the early run.

The Blue Jays (2-0) led yesterday's game throughout, but the Tigers, who often had five freshmen on the field after graduating a host of talent, began to work well together as the game went on.

"We have a lot of freshmen and a lot of upperclassmen who haven't necessarily seen a lot of playing time or had a lot of experience, so it's just a matter of getting everyone on the same page," Tigers veteran defender Lauren Vance said. "I was impressed that we had a comeback, the way we pulled it together."

The Blue Jays dominated possession early, driving the 5-0 run that Meghan Voight capped on a feed from Lauren Schwarzmann with 11:16 to go in the half.

Later, a bolstered Tigers defense helped the offense cut the Blue Jays' lead to 7-5 on Christine Casaceli's goal with 16:38 left.

"We had a little segment of the second half where we were almost trying to hold on as opposed to let's put the nail in the coffin," Johns Hopkins coach Janine Tucker said. "Princeton is an outstanding team, they're a top team and they were able to capitalize on that."

Princeton (0-1) pulled within one on back-to-back goals from Kristin Schwab and Olachi Opara.

The Tigers had three final possessions in front of the Hopkins goal, but their only shot went wide and they turned the ball over twice, the last on a crease violation with 52 seconds left. katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

Princeton 2 5 - 7

Johns Hopkins 5 3 - 8

Goals: P-Casaceli 2, Schwab 2, Lewis-Lamonica, Opara; JH-Key 3, Wagner 2, Janice, Voight, Walsh. Assists: P-Miller; JH-Key 3, L.Schwarzmann. Saves: P-O'Boyle 2; JH-Riddick 4. A: 450.

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