MIDDLEBURY, VT – Seventh ranked Johns Hopkins got a goal from Kelly Baker with just 22 seconds left in the second overtime to down 17th ranked Williams 2-1 to advance to the Sectional Final tomorrow versus host Middlebury.
Baker had been denied by Eph goalie Hannah Van wetter and in regulation and each overtime before she was on the end of a bouncing ball across the box to Van Wetter's left. Baker volleyed into the far panel and ended the contest just short of a PK shootout.
Johns Hopkins 21-1-1, winners of their last 11 games, led Williams (14-4-2) for almost 60 minutes after the Blue Jays scored the first goal of the game in the 29th minute.
Hannah Kronick scored her 22nd goal of the season to put Johns Hopkins in the lead 1-0 at 25:28 of the first half. Kronick, who had been probing and stretching the Eph defense form the start was the beneficiary of a well placed through ball from back Adrienne Johnson.
Kronick settled the ball, turning to her right, and squeezed past two Eph defenders into the box about 8 yards out to the left of Eph keeper Van Wetter. The Blue Jays' top scorer calmly rolled the ball back across the goal and beyond the reach of the diving Van Wetter.
Kronick's goal had come after both teams had constructed some serious early threats on goal and moments after the Ephs' Audrey Thomas almost put Williams on top. Thomas hit a bouncing ball out of a scramble in front of the net just wide of the far post.
Kelly Baker had the first real scoring chance just over three minutes in when she got free in the box to the right of Van Wetter, but she did not strike the ball with the authority she intended and Van Wetter smothered the attempt.
In the 10th minute Eph senior midfielder Carla Nicasio played a long ball to first year Kriste Kirshe who settled the ball at the top left of the box. Krishe then rolled the ball through a Blue Jay defender's legs and stepped into a shot from 10 yards out that struck the outside of the left panel.
Baker again was in on Van Wetter in the 13th minute and this time she hit the ball with more authority, but Van Wetter was able to make a diving catch to keep the ball out.
In the first half the Ephs out shot the Blue Jays 7-4, but Johns Hopkins took a 1-0 lead into intermission.
Right off the second half kickoff Kriste Krishe came forward ripped a shot from 14 yards out that just went over the bar.
In the 62nd minute Adrienne Johnson ran on to a bouncing ball in the box and fired but her shot went into the midsection of Hannah Van Wetter, keeping the score at 1-0.
Moments after Johnson was denied the Ephs saw a Kriste Kirshe header denied by Blue Jay goalie Kelly Leddy. Just five minutes later the Eph mustered another attempt to tie the game when Katie Wardlaw ran into the box, but her shot went just outside the far post.
Kronick almost had her second goal of the contest twice; in the 75th and 76th minutes when Van Wetter somehow denied one shot in close then another and jumped on rebound attempt by Kronick just before Kronick could match the leather of her boot to the leather of the ball.
Throughout the contest the game featured impressive saves by both Leddy and Van Wetter and both keepers notched 10 saves on the day.
The game-tying goal for the Ephs came in the 88th minute when Lilly Wellenbach, who had been moved from the backline to the front line, possessed a bouncing ball in the box and went left. Wellenbach's feed across the box three yards out was met by hard charging freshman Audrey Thomas who tipped it into the back of the net.
Just 90 seconds into the first overtime session the Ephs' Crystal Lewin hit a shot from the top of the box that JHU's Leddy had to elevate and tip over the crossbar.
Baker almost ended the drama in the first OT session when she fired on goal from 17 yards out to Van Wetter's left and the Eph goalie had to react quickly to tip the ball over the cross bar for a corner.
Halfway through the second overtime Van Wetter came charging out to deny Hannah Kronick a game-winner, keeping the score level and setting the stage for Baker's heroics.
Williams out shot JHU 18-17 in the 110 minutes of play and the Blue Jays led in corner kicks 7-5.
"We're heartbroken at the result, but we're not feeling sorry for ourselves," said Eph head coach Michelyne Pinard. "From where we started this year to where we finished today has just been unbelievable to me. Our seniors, each in their own way, led this team here."
Pinard added, "We just did not execute where it really, really matters -- on the scoreboard. Now we have 9 months to get better and when we're in this position again, we finish the job."
"I thought our team gave an unbelievable effort in an unbelievable soccer game and I could not be prouder of how hard they competed," said Pinard. "It just didn't seem real that we would not be going to PKs."