Release courtesy of Johns Hopkins Athletic Communications
Breukelen Woodard and the Blue Jay defense held the nation's highest scoring team off the board as the Blue Jays punched their ticket to the final four with a 2-0 victory over the host Cougars in Sunday's NCAA Quarterfinals.
The win improves the Blue Jays' record to 21-0-2 and lifts Hopkins to the second final four in program history (2014), while the Cougars have their season come to an end at 21-1-1.
After an evenly played opening 19 minutes, the Blue Jays broke through at the 19:56 mark when Woodard gained possession nearly 40 yards from the goal and worked her way to the middle of the field and the top of the box before ripping one past the outstretched hands of Cougar goalie Madi Welliver, off the post and in to give the Blue Jays a one-goal lead.
That lead held until Woodard provided an insurance goal in the 65th minute. Playing in off a throw to Welliver's right, the Blue Jays worked the ball to graduate student Rebecca Rosen, who got deep in the box and slipped a pass to Katie Sullivan, who sent it across the face of the goal, where Megha Salvi got a foot on it before Woodard banged it into an open net.
The Cougars didn't lead the nation in scoring by not pressuring and they had a couple chances late to slice the deficit in half. The best of those came in 88th minute when Olivia Miniskas hit the crossbar. The Cougars drew a corner less than 40 seconds later, but the Blue Jay defense swept it away and Misericordia never threatened in the final 90 seconds.
Emma Huntzinger made two saves in goal for the Blue Jays and anchored a defense that held a Cougar offense that was averaging better than 4.5 goals per game off the board. Misericordia had scored at least two goals in 14 consecutive games and in 20 of 22 games entering today's game. While the Cougars did generate 14 shots, only the two were on goal as defenders Kendall Dandridge, Laurel Buck, Annie Isphording and Lily Gaston kept Misericordia away from Huntzinger and dangerous scoring areas. Dandridge had the play of the game early and kept the game scoreless in the opening minute when she swept a shot off the line that was ticketed for the corner.
Johns Hopkins will play the winner of the Messiah-Washington University game in the national semifinals on Friday, December 2 (1 pm). The final four will take place Kerr Stadium in Salem Virginia.
Notes: The 21 wins for the Blue Jays this season ties the program single-season record (2011, 2013). With two goals today, Johns Hopkins has now scored a school-record 93 goals on the year. Woodard's five goals in JHU's four NCAA Tournament games thus far are tied for the most by a Blue Jay in one tournament (Meg Van de Loo / 2016). Today's shutout is the 17th of the year for the Blue Jays, which ties the school single-season record (2008).