BALTIMORE, MD - Mackenzie Cyr scored with 31.1 seconds to play to give sixth-ranked Penn State a 15-14 win at 19th-ranked Johns Hopkins in American Lacrosse Conference action Sunday afternoon. The goal capped a four-goal run as the Nittany Lions rallied from a 14-11 deficit to win. Hopkins slips to 9-6 overall and 1-3 in the ALC heading into its regular season finale next week at Ohio State. Penn State closes out conference play with an 11-4 overall record and a 4-1 mark in the league.
With the game tied at 11 apiece and 17:41 still to play in the game, Hopkins used a methodical three-goal run in a nearly 10-minute span to push out to a 14-11 lead with 7:47 on the clock. Freshman Jenna Reifler scored at 15:50 off an over-the-cage pass from junior Taylor D'Amore to give Hopkins its fifth lead of the game. Junior Sammy Cermack pushed the lead to two at 9:09 when she took a feed from D'Amore and snuck it inside the right post from in tight. Just 82 seconds later, freshman Dene' DiMartino dodged from the left and was able to bury her third goal of the game.
Penn State wasted little time getting back into as Madison Cyr scored on a free position just at 6:42, followed by an unassisted Kelly Lechner goal at 6:02 to bring the Lions within one. Lechner then tied the game for the seventh time with a free position goal at 4:54. D'Amore won the ensuing draw and the Blue Jays looked to run time off the clock. As the clock ticked under two minutes, junior Sarah Taylor dodged from behind the cage, but was called for an offensive foul on Ally Heavens. The Lions were able to clear on the ensuing possession and Maggie McCormick was able to find Mackenzie Cyr in the slot for the quick-stick goal that proved to be the game-winner. Lechner came up with the ensuing draw and Penn State was able to run out the clock.
It was a seesaw game from the opening draw as the Blue Jays and the Nittany Lions treated the fans at Homewood Field to a thriller. McCormick put Penn State up early, scoring just 52 seconds in on high-to-low shot. Hopkins answered with four straight goals to push out to a 4-1 lead. D'Amore tied the game at the 27:58-mark when she dodged from behind the cage and rolled the crease before scoring low on Emi Smith. She followed that just 67 seconds later with a goal to give JHU its first lead. Sophomore Jen Cook earned a free position, but instead of shooting, she slipped a pass to a wide-open D'Amore on the right post for the score.
Senior Katie Duffey pushed the lead to two 14 seconds later thanks to a Cook helper. Taylor followed with the first of her three goals on the afternoon at 23:12 as JHU took a 4-1 lead. Cermack slipped a pass over the goal to Taylor on the right post and she one-time a low shot past Smith. Penn State answered and answered quickly with three goals in just 98 seconds to tie the game at four goals apiece. Jenna Mosketti bookended the run with a pair of goals sandwiched around a McCormick strike.
The Blue Jays retook the lead at the 16:17-mark when D'Amore fed a cutting Taylor for the score to make it 5-4 Hopkins. It was D'Amore's 100th career assist, making her just the fourth player in school history (all divisions) to reach the milestone. Penn State came right back with goals from Lechner and Tatum Coffey just 46 seconds apart to give the Lions a 6-5 lead with 11:50 to play. DiMartino would send the teams into the half tied at six apiece with her goal with 19.4 ticks on the clock. With DiMartino cutting to the fan, freshman Caroline Turco slipped her a pass in the middle of the fan and DiMartino scored on a side-arm shot to knot the score.
Cook opened the second-half scoring as she cut down the middle and scored off a quick feed from D'Amore just 21 seconds in. The lead didn't last long as Madison Cyr took a dump pass from her older sister, Mackenzie Cyr, and scored from in tight at 28:25. Hopkins answered with a pair of goals in 51 seconds to take a 9-7 lead. D'Amore dodged to the cage from behind and blew a shot past Smith to complete her hat trick. D'Amore then drew a free position on the next possession and instead, passed to Taylor on her left for the hat trick and the two-goal lead.
McCormick pulled Penn State back within just 10 seconds later as Coffey won the draw and sparked a fast-break two-on-one. Coffey drew the slide and fed to McCormick, who faked three times before scoring over the left shoulder of senior Cosette Larash. The Blue Jays once again answered with two quick strikes, from DiMartino and Cermack, both assisted by Cook as Hopkins pushed out to an 11-8 lead with 23:18 to play. Penn State answered with a run of its own, getting three straight goals, including a pair from Lechner, to once again tie the game at 11 goals apiece and 17:41 on the clock.
D'Amore finished with a game-high eight points (3g, 5a) and seven draws to become the first player in school Division I history with five or more assists in three straight games. Taylor and DiMartino added hat tricks while Cook notched career highs of five points and four assists. Larash finished with five saves in the loss. Lechner led the Nittany Lions with five goals while McCormick had six points on three goals and three helpers and Smith made a pair of saves to earn the win.
Hopkins is back in action and wraps up the regular season on Sunday, April 28 as the Blue Jays travel to Columbus, OH to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes. The opening draw from Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium is slated for 12:00 pm.