No. 19 Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Takes Down No. 11 Johns Hopkins 16-13

No. 19 Penn State women’s lacrosse (9-6, 4-2 Big Ten) explodes against No. 11 Johns Hopkins (10-6, 2-4 Big Ten) 16-13 on Thursday.  

Johns Hopkins jumped to an early lead in the first quarter, but Penn State didn’t let up. Five unanswered goals in the second quarter gave the Nittany Lions an 8-7 lead going into the half, and Penn State extended its streak in the third quarter, scoring the first three goals of the quarter. Johns Hopkins eventually got back into the game but Penn State held on.  

How It Happened

Penn State won the opening draw of the game, but two early saves from Madison Doucette gave Johns Hopkins the ball. After a minute-long possession, the Blue Jays capitalized to go up 1-0, and two minutes later, scored again to extend their lead.  

The Nittany Lions responded with six minutes left in the first quarter through Meghan Murray. Hopkins won the subsequent draw, though, and made it 3-1 just one minute later. Penn State head coach Missy Doherty decided to call her first timeout of the game in hopes of stopping the Blue Jay momentum following the goal but almost instantly Hopkins extended its lead to three.  

It looked like Johns Hopkins was going to make it 5-1, but a Sydney Manning save on the doorstep turned into Penn State’s first offensive possession in seven minutes. The Nittany Lions didn’t waste their opportunity as Lauren Saltz found the back of the net.  

In the final two minutes, both teams scored to end the quarter 5-3 in favor of Johns Hopkins. Penn State’s goal came from Gretchen Gilmore and marked her 100th career point at Penn State.  

Johns Hopkins started the second quarter fast, scoring two goals off free positions. Down by four, Doherty called another timeout for Penn State.  

Kayla Abernathy responded for Penn State following the timeout to make it 7-4. The Blue Jays, up to this point, were locking off Kristin O’Neill who was taking herself out of the play, effectively making it six-on-six. Three minutes later, a Gilmore goal followed by a O’Neill score brought the game back within one.  

After three unanswered Penn State goals, the Blue Jays called their first timeout of the half. The subsequent possession went to Penn State, and it was able to knot the game up at seven apiece. The Nittany Lions followed the equalizer with another goal to make it five unanswered with two minutes to play in the first half. 

A Johns Hopkins yellow card allowed Penn State to hold on to the ball for most of the remaining time in the half, and the Nittany Lions went into halftime up 8-7.

Penn State, still up a woman, won the opening draw just before Johns Hopkins’ penalty ended. The Nittany Lions didn’t waste any time with the ball on offense and scored after just one time around. Less than two minutes later, Abernathy completed her hat trick giving Penn State a three-goal lead. The goal also marked seven unanswered for the Nittany Lions.

The Blue Jays got their first offensive possession of the second half following the draw. A free position save from Manning, though, gave Penn State the ball back. On the offensive end, Kelly MacKinney scored the goal of the game, shooting behind the back in the top corner as she started to lose her angle.

This time, Hopkins had an answer and scored for the first time since the 12-minute mark of the second quarter. The Blue Jays scored again two minutes later, taking their turn to score a great goal. With five minutes left in the third, Penn State led 11-9.  

Just over one minute after the Johns Hopkins double, Penn State scored three times, pushing the Nittany Lions’ lead to five. Brooke Hoss was responsible for two of the goals, including a behind-the-back shot. 

The third quarter ended 14-9 in favor of Penn State.  

In the fourth quarter, the Blue Jays stopped locking off O’Neill and it proved to work as the Penn State offense slowed down a bit. On the other end, Hopkins capitalized on a free position shot with 12 minutes to play.  

The Nittany Lions got back into their grove in seven-on-seven offense and scored two quick goals because of it. Johns Hopkins responded less than a minute later, but Penn State led 16-11 with 10 minutes left.  

The next six minutes were back-and-forth, but Hopkins scored next to bring the game within four with four to play. The Blue Jays found the net another time with two minutes left, but it was too late. Penn State held on to win 16-13.  


  • Penn State dominated the draw controls, allowing it to go on an eight-goal run in the second and third quarters. This is largely due to Abernathy having 20 of 29 draw controls. She also added three goals to her impressive outing.  
  • Ellie Hollin might not show up on the stat sheet a lot, but she was one of the top performers in this one. Not only did she play fearless defense, eat picks, and communicate well, but she also was a large part of the Nittany Lion transition play. Her speed allowed her to take the ball from defense to offense on numerous occasions.  

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions are set to play the first round of the Big Ten Tournament on Saturday, April 27. Opponent, time, and location are still to be determined.  

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About the Author

Collin Ward

Collin is a first-year majoring in digital/print journalism. Born in Hartford, he now lives in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. As a die-hard Chelsea FC fan you can normally find him yelling at his TV screen each weekend. To reach him, follow him on Instagram: @cward829, or email him at [email protected].

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