PHILADELPHIA -The Penn women's lacrosse team hung with the third-ranked team in the nation to the very end Wednesday night, but ultimately came up short against Johns Hopkins, 12-9, at Franklin Field.
The Quakers (5-4) clawed back from a 6-2 deficit in the first half to bring it within a goal after the break. Hopkins (7-0), led by Mary Key's five goals, answered back, however, and never let their lead fall below two for the balance of the game.
"For 60 minutes, we played hard," said Head Coach Karin Brower. "They played with more heart than they have all year."
The offense revved up quickly, with both teams scoring in the first three minutes. Key put the Blue Jays on the board first less than a minute in but Ali Ryan answered with her 14th goal of the season at 27:28. JHU then went on a 5-1 tear, with only Rachel Manson's goal at 24:38 breaking up the Blue Jays' six-minute scoring spree.
Unfazed, the Quakers quickly moved to pull it closer before the half, going on a 3-0 run of their own. Manson added her second with 8:11 to go, Caroline Finger scored her first of the season on an acrobatichorizontal lay-out shot with 7:25 left, and Melissa Lehman punctuated the half with a free-position goal with three ticks left on the clock to make it 8-6 in favor of JHU.
The second half was decidedly more measured than the 14-goal first. Allison Ambrozy scored first in the half with 25 minutes to go on a feed from Manson to make it a one-goal game. Hopkins answered back with two unanswered goals, from Key and Annie Wagner, to make it 10-7. Lehman tacked on her second goal at 10:36, but Key scored the final two goals around Becca Edwards' tally at 1:45 to assure the Blue Jays of a 12-9 victory.
Despite the scoreline, the Quakers doubled up JHU in shots, 31-15, and possessed the ball the majority of the game. The Quakers scooped up 19 ground balls to Johns Hopkins' 11, and were led by Karen Jann's five pick-ups.
Remarkably, neither team had a disrupted clear until Penn's final clear attempt of the game, which resulted in a Key caused turnover and goal with six seconds left.
Penn returns to action at Franklin Field Saturday when it hosts Ivy League foe Columbia at 3 p.m. That game is the second part of a men's/women's doubleheader, with the Quaker men taking on No. 2 Cornell at noon.