The three polls in women’s lacrosse agree that Johns Hopkins should be ranked but disagree on how high, putting the Blue Jays at No. 8, No. 10 and No. 17. Hofstra is unranked by all, but the Pride were still in the vicinity of Hopkins with eight minutes left Saturday at Shuart Stadium, down by just two.
But that’s as close as they came. The Blue Jays claimed a 15-11 win behind four goals and two assists from Kings Park’s Mackenzie Heldberg and three goals and four assists from Maggie Schneidereith.
So the Pride are 4-3, but they’re showing a lot of potential.
No. 2 Maryland beat them, 17-9, the Saturday prior. But then-No. 21 USC, who won, 15-10, and Hopkins (6-1) had their hands full. Hofstra has crushed everyone else in its path, beating Bucknell, Wagner, Fairfield and Quinnipiac consecutively by a combined count of 67-26.
“I think we’re still finding our identity,” coach Shannon Smith said. “I think that we played really two tough games against Hopkins and USC. I think if we stay focused for the five minutes where we had lapses, our record could go from 4-3 to 6-1. … I feel like we’re right there.
“I just think at some points we have six or seven freshmen on the field. It’s not an excuse. But I think that they’re trying to get as much experience as they can underneath them right now as we continue to move forward to prepare ourselves for conference.”
This CAA team was up, 5-4, at halftime on a late goal by Alyssa Parrella, who scored three and added an assist. But Heldberg tied it 2:57 into the second half. A 6-1 run was in motion, making it 10-6.
“Moving forward, I think when it comes to tight games like this, we just cannot let teams get runs on us,” Parrella said.
Erin Demek cut it to 11-9 with 8:10 left. But Heldberg set up Schneidereith for a goal. Then Schneidereith and Heldberg scored with Parrella serving a penalty. It was 14-9 with 5:20 remaining.
Katie Whelan scored twice for the Pride from there, but they couldn’t get it under four.
“I think that they are gritty and they are physically strong and fast, and they ran with us,” said Heldberg, a junior attack out of Smithtown West. “Not that we underestimated them, but I think they came out strong and we respected them after that.”