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Rutgers women's lacrosse rallies late to defeat No. 16 Johns Hopkins in Big Ten Tournament

The Rutgers women's lacrosse team pulled off the upset victory against Johns Hopkins in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament yesterday. – Photo by @RUAthletics / Twitter

The Rutgers women's lacrosse team took down Johns Hopkins in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament by a score of 15-14 yesterday. The Scarlet Knights (8-8, 1-5) scored 7 goals in the second half and claimed the victory over the Blue Jays (8-8, 4-2).

The first quarter would be a back-and-forth affair between both teams. Senior attacker Janey Galski scored the 1st goal of the match for Rutgers after approximately 6 minutes of play. No. 16 Johns Hopkins responded by scoring 3 quick goals to establish a 2-goal lead.

With 3:13 remaining, senior midfielder Cassidy Spilis pulled one back for the Knights. The Blue Jays would fire back with goals from Georgie Gorelick and Campbell Case less than 1 minute apart, resulting in a score of 5-2.

Graduate student attacker Marin Hartshorn and freshman attacker and midfielder Lily Dixon both scored within 10 seconds to cut the deficit to 1 goal. It was Johns Hopkins who scored the last goal of the quarter, as Maeve Barker beat the buzzer to make the score 6-4 heading into the second quarter.

Hartshorn netted the 1st goal of the second quarter for Rutgers after 18 seconds of play. Shortly after, Ava Angello scored a woman-up goal with an assist from Bailey Cheetham. Junior midfielder Ashley Moynahan then scored the Knights' 6th goal of the contest with 11:56 remaining.

The Blue Jays would then take a 3-goal lead with goals from Angello and Gorelick. Hartshorn and Spilis scored the last goals of the quarter. Heading into halftime, Rutgers trailed 9-8.

The Knights started off the third quarter on the front foot, as Spilis secured her hat trick goal after 52 seconds of play. Rutgers would then take its first lead of the second half thanks to the efforts of Moynahan and Dixon. Angello netted a goal to end the Knights' scoring run with 51 seconds remaining in the third quarter, and Spilis scored in the final 8 seconds of the quarter to give Rutgers the 12-10 lead heading into the final quarter. 

The Knights continued their momentum at the start of the fourth quarter. Senior attacker Jenna Byrne and freshman attacker Ava Kane both scored to establish a 4-goal lead. Spilis netted her 5th goal of the contest with 7:27 remaining with an assist from junior midfielder Mikayla Dever.

Facing elimination, Johns Hopkins would go on a scoring run of its own. Barker found the back of the cage to cut the deficit to 4 goals. In the final 4 minutes of the game, the Blue Jays scored 3 goals but were ultimately unsuccessful in scoring the equalizing goal to force overtime.

Spilis scored 5 goals and provided two assists to combine for a team-leading 7 points. She also surpassed current volunteer assistant Taralyn Naslonski for most goals in program history. Hartshorn and Dixon both also pitched in with 5 points.

On defense, senior defender Meghan Ball led the backline with four caused turnovers and three ground balls. Between the pipes, junior goalkeeper Sophia Cardello saved 11 shots on goal.

Rutgers will look to continue its run when it faces the No. 2 seed Maryland in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament in Columbus, Ohio. Face-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, and the game will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network.

For more updates on the Rutgers women's lacrosse team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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