Eeeysh, well that sucked. As if losing to Florida on Thursday weren’t bad enough – it’s always a bit of a shocker when NU loses in lacrosse, but hey, Florida is ranked No. 6, so kudos to them – today, our Wildcats really laid a stinker, dropping a 12-11 decision to unranked Johns Hopkins.
In chilly, rainy and gusty conditions in Baltimore (just like Rodger at the spring football game, yours truly stayed dry and watched this match from the press box), NU took an early 5-2 lead, but too many defensive breakdowns, not enough offensive execution and some sloppy turnovers allowed Johns Hopkins to pull the major upset, which the Blue Jays celebrated in a huge dogpile after the final horn sounded.
NU now drops to 12-2 on the season, 2-2 in the American Lacrosse Conference. This marks the first time since 2003 that NU has lost two lacrosse games in a row. And this could be the first season since that same 2003 that NU doesn't finish first in the conference.
Not to be too negative on our Wildcats, but by the program’s lofty standards, this season has definitely erased that aura of invincibility that NU has held for so long. A loss to a team that was 0-2 in conference entering the game will do that to you.
Afterwards, head coach Kelly Amonte-Hiller was, in a word, pissed. Here are her postgame quotes I got while playing sportswriter—
On her thoughts of the game:
"Obviously, not too happy. Too many costly mistakes, turnovers, same old story."
On the challenge of every opponent wanting to knock off NU:
"It’s who we are. We’ve got to be able to deal with that. These kids need to learn how to go out there and be their best every moment and not have a down moment, because someone will take advantage of it. Unfortunately, this group has wasted a lot of time, and it’s caught up to them."
On what she said to the team after the game:
"Nothing. I didn’t even go into the locker room."
On how the team needs to respond:
"Yeah, it’s up to them. It’s their team, they have to do it. We can’t do it for them as a coaching staff. Obviously we work very hard to prepare them and to get them ready, but ultimately, when it comes down to it, the players are on the field, and they’re the ones that need to do it. They need to figure out how they’re going to respond next weekend."
Yikes, practice on Monday is sure going to be interesting, and I bet the bus ride to the airport and the flight home weren’t too fun.
Three games remaining in the regular season for the Wildcats, who will look to regain their mojo Friday against No. 11 Ohio State at Lakeside Field.