Baker Golden Goal Sends Johns Hopkins to Elite Eight
MIDDLEBURY, VT – Senior Kelly Baker scored with just 22 seconds left in double overtime to lift Johns Hopkins over Williams in the NCAA Sweet 16 Saturday afternoon at Middlebury College. The sixth-ranked Blue Jays (21-1-1) will meet the host and 13th-ranked Panthers (16-1-3) in the NCAA Quarterfinals Sunday at 1:30 pm. The seventh-ranked Ephs end their season with a 14-4-2 mark.
Hopkins took an early 1-0 lead in the match on junior Hannah Kronick's team-leading 22nd goal of the season in the 29th minute. Freshman Adrienne Johnson played a long ball to Kronick, who was 40 yards from goal. She beat a defender and heading towards the goal when Williams' keeper Hannah Van Wetter came out to challenge. As Van Wetter dove left, Kronick found the open hole down the middle and buried her shot for the lead.
Williams had several chances in the second half but couldn't find the equalizer until the 88th minute. Audrey Thomas beat a defender and took a shot to the right side of the box that was saved by senior Kelly Leddy in the 52nd minute. Just four minutes later, Kristi Kirshe found Thomas in the box, but her quick shot was denied by a nice save from Leddy, who came out to challenge.
Hopkins looked to increase its lead in the 74th minute, but two chances were thwarted. Kronick was denied from 15 yards out, while a sliding Van Wetter denied another attempt seconds later. Williams nearly tied the game in the 85th minute, as a shot from Crystal Lewin nicked the crossbar after a header on a cross was just missed.
The Ephs tied the game with just 2:04 remaining, forcing the contest into overtime. Kirshe played up a ball up the left side of the field to Lilly Wellenbach in the box. Wellenbach sent a cross that Thomas just got a piece of to redirect into the net to tie the game at 1-1. It was the first goal allowed by Leddy in her last 11 games, snapping her school record shutout streak of 805:42.
Just three minutes into overtime, Van Wetter kept her team in the game by denying a great one-touch volley by Baker in the box after a cross from senior Christina Convey. With just 22 seconds between the teams and a penalty kick shootout, Baker stepped up with her 14th of the season. Convey possessed the ball on the left side of the box, making a flat pass to Baker, who ripped a shot into the left corner from 12 yards out.
The evenly matched contest saw Williams hold a slight 18-17 edge in shots, with Hopkins leading in corner kicks, 7-5. Leddy finished with 10 saves in goal to earn the win, while Van Wetter made 10 stops for the Ephs.
Hopkins advances to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the fourth time in the last five seasons. JHU and Middlebury will square off at 1:30 pm with a berth to San Antonio and the NCAA Final Four on the line. Fans can watch the action at: http://nsnsports.net/colleges/middlebury-college/