Blue Jays soar past early Michigan lead
For three minutes on Saturday in Baltimore, the Michigan women’s lacrosse team was sitting pretty.
Senior midfielder Kim Coughlan put the Wolverines (1-3 Big Ten, 5-10 overall) on the board two minutes into the contest. Thirty seconds later, senior attackman Jess Angerman found the back of the net, and Michigan held a 2-0 lead over Johns Hopkins.
But the shutout held for just 30 more seconds, before Blue Jay attackman CeCe Finney gave her team its first goal of the game. One minute later, Finney scored again, and after that the Wolverines’ Potemkin lead collapsed into a 15-8 loss.
Three minutes after Finney’s second goal, midfielder Nicole DeMase gave Johns Hopkins (1-3, 9-4) the lead for good. The Blue Jays flew away with the rest of the half, as they scored five more goals — eight unanswered in total — to take an 8-2 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the period.
Following Johns Hopkins’ eighth goal, Michigan coach Jennifer Ulehla decided to pull sophomore starting goalie Mira Shane in favor of redshirt freshman Alli Kothari.
Kothari proved valuable for the remainder of the first period, saving two shots and allowing no goals. Her saves started to build up some momentum for the Wolverines, and with just 23 seconds remaining in the period, freshman midfielder Chandler Kirby scored the team’s first goal in over 27 minutes – a much needed boost going into the locker room.
Just 38 seconds into the second half, Coughlan found the back of the net for the second time. A mere 13 seconds after that, freshman midfielder Molly Garrett put the ball past Blue Jay goalie Caroline Federico, and suddenly the Wolverines found new life.
Johns Hopkins expanded the lead back to four just before the 28-minute mark — capping off a barrage of three goals in two minutes to begin the period — and that difference held steady for eight more minutes.
The Michigan resurgence was still not over, though, as freshman attacker Lilly Grass and redshirt junior attacker Bianca Brueckner both found the back of the net to narrow the Wolverines’ deficit to just two – the team’s smallest margin since the 20:13 mark of the first period.
But the resurgence disappeared as quickly as the mirage it appeared to be. The Blue Jays outscored Michigan 6-1 in the closing half of the second period to secure a 15-8 lead and win their first Big Ten game of the season.
For the Wolverines, the loss marks the third straight in as many Big Ten matches since they won their opening conference game against Ohio State. Michigan will have two more chances to earn wins against Big Ten teams at home and improve its standing before the Big Ten Tournament in College Park.