BALTIMORE– UMBC women's lacrosse's junior Alyssa Semones (Westminster, Md./Westminster/Penn State) registered her fourth hat trick of the season, tallying two of her team-best three goals in the opening half to keep the Retrievers within one at the break, but No. 7/5 Johns Hopkins outscored the black and gold 6-3 in the second half en route to a 10-6 victory in non-conference action on Wednesday night at Homewood Field.
Johns Hopkins improves to 12-2 on the season, while UMBC falls for the first time in three games to drop to an even 7-7 on the year.
The Retrievers spotted the Blue Jays a three-goal advantage, allowing sophomore Dene' DiMartino to score a pair of goals in the opening nine minutes of play, followed by a score from senior Taylor D'Amore with 16:45 to go in the period.
Semones put the Retrievers on the board, over powering her defender for the score with 13:11 to go, but DiMartino had the response for the Blue Jays, spinning around and netting her third unassisted score of the afternoon.
UMBC closed the gap to one, 4-3, with the final two goals of the half. Semones scored her second of the day in the midst of traffic following a pass from red-shirt junior Ali Carpenter (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh/Loyola) with 4:55 left and senior Kristen Bilney (Ellicott City, Md./Mt. Hebron) scored at a tough angle through a double-team with 13.8 seconds left in the period to bring the Retrievers within one.
Junior Abby Wilson (Bel Air, Md./Fallston) won the ensuing draw and found sophomore Rachel Benzing (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial) in front of the pack for an open shot against goalkeeper Caroline Federico. Federico made the initial save and stopped the rebound from Semones to send her team into the break with the 4-3 advantage.
The Retrievers' defense, that held strong throughout the final 15 minutes of the opening period, allowed JHU to jump on the board 1:51 into the second half on a free position goal from senior Sammy Cermack. Bilney was quick with the response, scoring her second of the day less than a minute later on a long shot into the bottom corner of the net to keep it a one-goal contest, 5-4. The goal marked her 100th-career point with the Retrievers.
The Retrievers struggled to transition the ball throughout stints in the second half, allowing the Blue Jays to break the game open with three consecutive scores. Senior Sarah Taylor opened the run by taking advantage of a tripped up defender, connecting on the open shot 8:28 into the half. The Retrievers' defense continued to play strong, but Cermack struck for her second free position goal of the day, this one into the upper right corner to extend the lead to 7-4 with 12:27 left. D'Amore concluded the run, scoring over the top of her defender with 11:21 to go.
Semones got one back and completed the hat trick on a free position goal with 10:20 on the clock to trim the deficit to 8-5. Taylor gave the Blue Jays back a four-goal advantage and Cermack followed by scoring on an empty net while the Retrievers were trying to force a turnover with the double-team.
Wilson added her fifth goal in the last three games with 1:19 remaining in the contest.
The Retrievers were four-of-eight on clearing attempts in the second half and turned the ball over eight times to Johns Hopkins' five. The Blue Jays outshot UMBC, 13-4, in the final 30 minutes.
The Retrievers take on their second nationally ranked opponent of the week when they host No. 19/18 Albany for Senior Day on Saturday, April 19 at the UMBC Stadium. UMBC will honor its five seniors prior to the contest. The day also marks Fan Appreciation Day on the UMBC campus.