HOPKINSSPORTS.COM Sophomore Liam Moylan contributed to Wednesday’s victory with two goals.
The men’s soccer team improved their undefeated Conference record this past week with two more wins: the first at home against the McDaniel College Green Terror by a score of 2-0 and the second on the road against the Ursinus College Bears by a score of 6-0.
If the Jays are able to win their final game of the season this Friday against the Dickinson College Red Devils, they will secure first place in the Centennial Conference, giving them home-field advantage for the entirety of the Conference Tournament.
Back-to-back shutouts for the Jays are not a rarity this season. In their 16 games of the season thus far, the Jays have only given up four goals and more than one in only one game.
The Jays came out attacking from the start against McDaniel. In just the 16th minute, senior defender Jonah Muniz passed to freshman midfielder RJ Moore, who put a shot home into the lower left corner for his first collegiate goal.
Hopkins had multiple opportunities throughout the first half but could not capitalize, and the score remained 1-0 at halftime. The Jays tallied 13 shots in the first half to the Green Terror’s two.
The second half would entail more of the same, as the Jays put up 15 more shots in the half to McDaniel’s three. While the shot totals were impressive, the Blue Jays were only able to score on one of those 15 second-half shots. In the 55th minute, Moore kicked a corner short to senior midfielder Drew Collins, who dribbled his way towards the goal and put the Jays’ second goal of the game home from 25 yards out.
The assists by Moore and Muniz put them both at seven on the season, which is tied for the team lead and is good enough for second in the Conference.
“I think the biggest thing for us has been the dynamic movement of the ball and the understanding between all the attacking players,” senior midfielder Mike Swiercz said.
The offensive burst continued into Saturday’s game against the Ursinus Bears. In just the fourth minute, sophomore forward Liam Moylan scored his first goal of the season to open the scoring for the Jays.
Just over 15 minutes later, fellow sophomore forward Achim Younker scored on a cross from Swiercz. Less than three minutes after that, he added his second goal of the game off a pass from sophomore defender Connor Jacobs to push the Hopkins lead to three.
As the first half ended, the Bears still had not gotten a single shot on the Jays. Meanwhile, Hopkins already tallied nine shots and three goals. It was by far one of their best halves of the season.
The Jays started the second half in the exact same way as the first, with Moylan scoring within the first three minutes of play. Moore added to his stellar week with a goal in the 60th minute off a save by McDaniel goalie Brandon Lillian.
Hopkins added their final strike in the 88th minute when freshman forward Jonathon Brown scored off a deflected corner kick.
“I think the key to our offensive explosion was being able to get the ball in dangerous spots around their goal,” Moylan said.
While the offense performed well this past week, looking forward, the Blue Jays will rely on the defense to create scoring opportunities in the game against Dickinson.
“Right now, Dickinson has the highest scoring offense in the Conference, and we have the best record as a defense, so it will definitely be a key matchup for us defensively,” Swiercz said.
The Dickinson offense has scored 2.8 goals per game this year, but the Jays’ defense is currently ranked third in the country in goals allowed per game, at a measly 0.2 goals per game average.
This matchup will also be an emotional one for the seniors on the team. The four seniors on the roster will be celebrated for senior night. Moving beyond the game against Dickinson, however, the team looks forward to playing a lot more soccer.
“Obviously, our biggest goals are to win the Conference Championship and then transition that into doing our best in terms of winning the National Championship,” Swiercz said.
The Blue Jays take on the Dickinson College Red Devils on Friday, Oct. 27 under the lights of Homewood Field at 7 p.m.