From Homer Glen, Illinois, women’s lacrosse attacker Frankie Kamely didn’t know much about Loyola’s rivalry against Hopkins before she became a Greyhound. But, during the past three years, the junior says she has not only learned about it but become part of it, too.
“Coming from an area like Chicago that’s not even around here and being brought into this rivalry is something really cool,” she said. “It’s so historic. And it has gone both ways, back and forth, throughout the years.”
Those words were never truer than on Wednesday, Feb. 22, when the Greyhounds played their season opener against the Blue Jays at Ridley. After defeating Hopkins the past two years, Loyola lost to its neighborhood rival 12-8.
The game began to slip away from the Greyhounds in the second half. Tied 6-6 at halftime, the teams broke out early with back-to-back goals. Hopkins freshman Lexi Souder found daylight sneaking one past Loyola goalie Taylor Caldwell at 28:27, giving the Blue Jays a slight edge. But moments later, Greyhound Sabrina Tabasso scored her only goal of the game by powering her shot past Hopkins goalie Caroline Federico. Despite the heavy defensive pressure she was under, Tabasso interlocked the two teams at seven a piece.
But things turned sour after that – at least for Loyola. While the Greyhounds suffered a 27-minute scoring drought, the Blue Jays went on a 5-point run. Hopkins attacker Emily Kenul started the sequence by netting her fourth point of the day and the 100th of her career. She was assisted by fellow attacker Maggie Schneidereith, who later helped midfielder Nicole DeMase bring the game to 11-7. In between, Blue Jays midfielder Haley Schweizer and attacker Miranda Ibello each recorded a point. To finish the run, Ibello returned with another goal, putting Hopkins ahead 12-7.
“Lacrosse is a game of runs,” Greyhounds Head Coach Jen Adams said. “We let them go five on our two goals. I don’t think you ever win a game of lacrosse at this level with that.”
To Loyola’s credit, though, there were a few redeeming plays in the second half. With help from freshman Caitlyn Gunn, senior Megan Boepple snuck in a goal with 33 seconds remaining in the game. And, before that, Caldwell put her defense skills to the test, resisting two close shots by Hopkins. Those saves, combined with the three she racked up in the first half, added to five in her first collegiate start.
“Caldwell is not the reason we lost this game, and I think that’s one thing I can stand here and confidently say,” Adams said. “It’s disappointing that we came away with a loss, but I actually thought she did a great job and played competitively.”
Adams recognized attackers Kamely and Cami Whiteford for their strong performances, as well. The junior and senior each entered halftime with hat tricks, respectively.
“Tonight, I think Frankie and Cami, they both played a phenomenal game of lacrosse,” Adams said. “They finished their shots; they had great looks. In terms of them, the consistency of their game, I thought it was good. And, you know, if we can keep getting that, plus add some more people into their mix, it will look like a different story.”
Adams called the game a “tale of two teams.”
“You saw our first-half team: They could compete with anyone in the nation,” she said. “And you saw our second-half team that made a lot of errors and couldn’t finish their shots and that really let Hopkins run away with it.”
The 90-second shot clock rule is new to college lacrosse this season, and it’s something that teams are still trying to grasp.
“They capitalized on using the full 90, sucking and taking away the time and opportunity that we had until it was basically out of our grasp,” Adams said. “I think they did a great job in taking strategy away from us and not even giving us the chance to get a sniff or touch of goal.”
Last year’s battle of North Charles Street between Loyola and Johns Hopkins resulted in a double overtime victory for the Greyhounds.
“This was the largest gap there’s been between us, and that just motivates us even more and makes the rivalry even stronger,” Whiteford said. “I know that, next year, this team is not going to let Hopkins do that again.”
As a senior, Whiteford won’t be around to help the Greyhounds avenge this year’s loss. But, with one more year until she graduates, Kamely will.
“Yeah, next year’s gap will not be four goals,” she said. “I can tell you that.”
The Greyhounds continue to trudge on through one of the nation’s most difficult schedules as they travel to Princeton on Wednesday.
Bob Trosset shared his post game thoughts here:
Contributors: Blake Lubinski, Kendra Farrell & Bob Trosset