BALTIMORE, MD – Johns Hopkins All-American forward Hannah Krotnick found the back of the net in the 106th minute to lift the Blue Jays past the upset-minded York College Spartans in a thrilling second round NCAA Tournament contest on Sunday afternoon in Baltimore.
The win advances the sixth-ranked Blue Jays to the Sweet 16 for the sixth straight season as they will face Williams College next weekend. Johns Hopkins is now 20-1-1 overall while the stellar Spartan campaign ends at 13-5-2.
"I can't tell you how proud of I am of this group of kids," said Spartan head coach Vicki Sterner. "We were determined to give Hopkins a good game and we did. We were right there at the end. They are certainly a very talented team but we stood toe to toe with them."
The first half featured back-and-forth action. The Spartans dodged an early bullet when Christina Convey hit the post in the 15th minute of action. The Blue Jays would hold a slight 6-4 edge in shots in the opening 45 minutes.
Spartan goalie Melanie Glessner (Waldorf, Md./Thomas Stone) came up big early in the second half as the Blue Jays fired three shots on cage in the opening eight minutes of the second half. Glessner stopped all three as the game remained scoreless.
The Blue Jays had their best chance in the second half when Krotnick hit the post in the 84th minute. Hopkins collected the rebound and Katie McEneaney fired a second shot that Glessner was able to stop to preserve the tie as the teams headed to overtime.
York got the only shot on goal in overtime as Jordan Neiheiser (Reading, Pa./Berks Catholic) struck a shot 7:40 into overtime that was saved by Blue Jay goalie Kelly Leddy.
The game-winner came in the 5:31 into the second overtime. The play was set up by Kylie Fuller who took the ball down the left side after accepting a pass from Maryalice McKenna. Fuller fed the ball into the box where senior Kelly Baker collected the ball and flicked it to Krotnick who knows what to do with the ball on her foot. The Blue Jay's all-time leading scorer ripped a rocket inside the left post for the game-ending goal. Krotnick is now Hopkins' all-time leading scorer in NCAA play as the goal was the fifth in her post-season career.
Hopkins held a 19-14 advantage in total shots including a 9-7 margin in shots on goal. JHU had five corners in the match while York did not record a corner for the first time all season.
Glessner again proved why she is one of the best goalies in the nation as she notched eight saves in her 105:31 of work. Leddy earned the clean sheet for the Blue Jays as she registered seven saves. The shutout is the 13th of the season for Hopkins.
"We played a very physical game yesterday against Carnegie Mellon," said Sterner. "I was worried about how that would affect us today but that was not a factor today. We played incredibly hard and walked off that field with our heads held high. Our effort and attitude were fantastic. This was a great group of kids to coach and we accomplished a great deal this year. I am already looking forward to getting back out on the field with them this spring."
York must say goodbye to seniors Dale Mason (Langhorne, Pa./Neshaminy) and Lauren Fowler (Bethlehem, Pa./Saucon Valley) but the Spartans will return 10 starters including Glessner and their 13 top scorers from this fall.
The 13 Spartans wins for the campaign ties the squad for third on the single-season records list. The school record of 15 was established during the 2007 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 run while the 2006 and the 2009 squads both notched 14 wins.
Photo courtesy of Johns Hopkins Athletic Communications