March 17, 2012

McCaffrey, Hopkins Hold Off Harvard's Late Rally

from press release

BALTIMORE — Senior Colleen McCaffrey scored with just 19 seconds to play to break a 7-7 tie and lift Johns Hopkins to an 8-7 win over visiting Harvard on a beautiful, sunny afternoon at Homewood Field. The goal capped a second half that saw the Crimson rally from a 5-2 halftime deficit to tie the game with 1:38 on the clock before McCaffrey's winner. Hopkins wins its third straight to improve to 6-2 on the season, while Harvard drops its second straight one-goal decision and falls to 2-3.

Trailing 5-2 at the break, Harvard scored the first two goals of the half to cut the deficit to one with more than 25 minutes still to play. Danielle Tetreault struck first, scoring on a right alley dodge her second of the afternoon, at 26:51. Nina Kucharczyk followed with a free position goal, her first of the year, at 25:25 and Hopkins' lead was down to 5-4. But sophomores Sammy Cermack and Sarah Taylor would answer with a pair of free position goals just 95 seconds apart to push the lead back to three at the 13:47 mark.

Harvard kept clawing away at the deficit with three unanswered goals to tie the game at 7-7. Micaela Cyr got things going when she took a feed from Tetreault in the slot, turned and fired a high-to-low shot past freshman KC Emerson at 6:37. Following some sloppy play by both teams, with a total of five turnovers in two minutes, Harvard came up with the ball and settled into its offense. Kucharczyk would then bring the Crimson within one when she dodged the left side and scored on a low shot at 4:34.

Hopkins had possession with the clock ticking under three, but Christine Thexton intercepted a Candace Rossi pass and the Crimson quickly cleared. Kucharczyk found herself all alone in front of the Blue Jay cage off some nice passing by the Crimson, she tried to go low on Emerson but the freshman netminder just got her stick on the shot and the ball careened out of bounds. Harvard maintained possession and got the ball to Jenn VanderMeulen, who dodged to the cage, rolled the crease and fired home her first of the day to tie the game at 1:38. 

Cermack won the ensuing draw and the Blue Jays called timeout to set up one final play. Sophomore Taylor D'Amore held the ball down at the end line as time wound down and with the clock ticking under 30 seconds, drove to the cage and drew a free position shot. Instead of shooting, she passed to a wide-open McCaffrey on the left post. McCaffrey took the pass, cradled once and buried a high-to-low shot to put Hopkins on top 8-7 with 19 ticks on the clock. Cermack again won the draw and Hopkins ran out the clock.

Jenn Leffew put the Crimson on top early with just her second of the season. From up top, VanderMeulen slipped a pass down low to Leffew, who cut across the crease and scored at 26:19. Hopkins answered less than two minutes later as the home team capitalized in transition. Harvard was clearing after a Kelly Weis save on D'Amore, but VanderMeulen lost her footing in the midfield and D'Amore scooped up the ground ball. After some unselfish passing by the Blue Jays, senior Rachel Ballatori found D'Amore open on the right side, and she one-timed her pass home for her team-leading 20th goal of the season.

The Crimson came right back with a free position goal from Tetreault just 37 seconds later and Harvard led 2-1 at 24:04. McCaffrey swung the lead in Hopkins' favor with back-to-back goals less than two minutes apart to make it a 3-2 game. Cermack, in the left alley, fed a nifty pass to McCaffrey in the slot, who turned and buried the first of her three goals. Just a minute and 57 seconds later, McCaffrey broke free of her defender in front of the crease and D'Amore slipped her a pass from goal-line extended for the go ahead goal at 17:05. Rossi pushed the lead to two when she rolled across the top of the fan and blew a shot past Weis from 10 yards out. Junior Monica Fischer capped the first half scoring at 5:37 with her second of the day. Ballatori found Fischer open on the right side of the crease, and she quick-sticked her pass home to send Hopkins into the locker room with a 5-2 lead.

McCaffrey led the Blue Jays with her fourth hat trick of the season while D'Amore had one goal and two assists to go along with a game-high four draw controls. Ballatori also doled out a pair of assists for the offense. Emeroson finished with five saves in the goal to earn her fourth win of the season. Tetreault and Kucharczyk each had a pair of goals for the Harvard offense while Weis had six saves in the cage.

Hopkins returns to action on Sunday, March 25 as the Princeton Tigers visit Homewood Field. The non-conference match-up is slated for a 1 pm start.


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