LANCASTER, Pa. – The No. 19 Ursinus College field hockey saw its journey to a 13th Centennial Conference championship end with a 1-0 loss to No. 11 Johns Hopkins in the semifinals on Saturday afternoon at Franklin & Marshall.
Third-seeded Ursinus (12-6) held onto a scoreless deadlock until Johns Hopkins took advantage of a Bear miscue in their own end with just over two minutes remaining in regulation.
In the 68th minute, second-seeded Johns Hopkins (16-2) finally broke through an Ursinus defense that had held strong all afternoon, taking punch after punch. Blue Jays leading scorer Izzy Thompson stole the ball as the Bears played it back toward the cage, pouncing and poking a low shot into the cage as Ursinus senior keeper Jules Singer came out in an attempt to knock the ball away.
Thompson's opportunistic tally was the breaking of the dam for Hopkins, which had set up shop in the Ursinus defensive end for a majority of the match on their way to attempting 19 shots.
Singer played a great game in goal on her way to making eight saves to wrap up an outstanding career for Bears. Early and often, Singer denied several Blue Jay scoring chances, similar to her excellent play in the 2-0 loss in the regular season match with the Blue Jays.
Singer made an amazing diving save in the 7th minute on Seema Sajjan's shot with the cage partially empty. The senior keeper made another sprawling save from a shot on the doorstep in the first half. In a wild sequence after a penalty corner in the second half, Singer stood on her head with a pad save and a high stick stop.
The Bears who made the CC playoffs for the 16th straight season, were held to just four shots with two of them on goal. Ursinus' best opportunity to score was in the 61st minute when junior Erin Saybolt passed to sophomore Devon Carroll but was denied by the pads of Blue Jay goalie Jodie Baris.
Baris had a quiet day in goal as she posted a shutout with two saves.
The first half went scoreless but Hopkins held the advantages in shots (8-2) and penalty corners (3-2). Ursinus was held without an official shot on goal, while Johns Hopkins recorded four shots on cage. In the match, Hopkins also held the penalty corners edge (8-6).
Johns Hopkins will take on Centennial Conference regular season champion No. 10 Franklin & Marshall on Sunday at 1 p.m. for the CC championship. The Diplomats took down Muhlenberg, 2-1, in double overtime in their semifinal matchup.
In back-to-back seasons, the Ursinus College field hockey team was thwarted in the semifinals.
Saturday marked the last match for the Ursinus senior class of Maria DiCioccio, Mikayla Jordan, Bridget Sherry and Singer. The quartet was a part of two CC championships and an NCAA Final Four berth in 2015.