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No. 10 Penn hands Jays first loss of 2017

By: Taber Lucchese

Haley Schweizer led JHU with five goals.

Despite the turbulent weather in Baltimore, the No. 18 Johns Hopkins women’s lacrosse team was still able to put on a show in their home opener against No. 10 Penn. The Jays trailed the Quakers 5-3 at the half but managed to pull a 7-5 comeback before finalizing the game at 10-7 on the losing end.

“It was a game of spurts,” Hopkins coach Janine Tucker said. “I think when we were a little flat, Penn took advantage of that. But we were always looking to answer.”

Senior midfielder Haley Schweizer led the Jays with five goals, along with one-goal contributions from sophomore Miranda Ibello and senior Emily Kenul.

To understand the magnitude of the Jays’ commendable effort today, one must understand what they were up against: on one end of the field, there was goalkeeper Britt Brown who put up 16 saves, and on the other was attacker Alex Condon, who scored eight of the Quakers’ 10 goals.

“Early on, we gave [Britt] some easy saves,” Schweizer said. “We dropped our sticks and were shooting sidearm. She has such a presence in the cage, so you kind of have to move her and shoot around her to get it in there.”

Early in the second half, Hopkins continued a five-goal scoring streak that forced Penn into a 19:04 drought, but the Quakers flipped it around for their own five-goal run to conclude the contest. Schweizer netted four of her five during that period, accompanied by Kenul who opened up the half with a clutch snatch off a blocked Schweizer shot.

The Jays’ all-around outstanding effort was overshadowed by their draw difficulties. Since the graduation of Dene’ DiMartino, Hopkins has been experimenting with four different players on the circle, but struggled today against Penn’s expert draw specialist, winning only won five possessions in comparison to the Quakers’ 14.

“We were 50/50 on draws. It was just kind of hard for us to get into a rhythm and figure things out,” said Schweizer, who was one of those four players.

The Hopkins defensive unit, led by defender Emily Verica, midfielder Shannon Fitzgerald, and goalkeeper Caroline Federico, stayed sound and strong against a powerful Penn offense. At 24-13, the Jays almost doubled the Quakers on their ground ball pickups, and Federico provided yet another consistent performance with some clutch blocks.

“They had to really buckle down and play a lot more defense than we would have liked,” Tucker said.

Despite Saturday’s outcome, Hopkins still concludes February boasting a 3-1 record that reflects their diverse array of scorers and deep-pocketed defense.

“We are fast, athletic, and can play with anybody in the country,” Tucker said. “That was a really fine team that we just played – we showed some flashes of brilliance, and I think that’s what we’re going to build off of. I couldn’t be more proud of our team right now.”

The Blue Jays return to Homewood on Wednesday, March 1 to host rival Georgetown.

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Taber Lucchese

Staff Writer
A washed up high school athlete studying in the heartland of college lacrosse and living vicariously through her D1 friends. Growing up in a lacrosse-obsessed family in New York's hotbed, Taber received her first stick as a toddler, an all-pink plastic beauty with the Powerpuff Girls printed on the shaft. Soon after, she was criticized for her lack of a pocket by her male teammates, who all no doubt play college lacrosse today. After over a decade of shooting space and tight pockets, Taber picked up field hockey in high school to finally prove that she could be better at a sport than her D1-committed younger sister. Shockingly she was wrong, and now has accepted the fact that club sports are her destiny. Taber is currently pursuing a degree in Political Science with concentrations in Journalism and Italian Studies. Don't worry, she's not sure what she's doing either, but she's confident that she knows more about sports than you do.

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