HOPKINSSPORTS.COM Freshman Riley O’Toole tied the game after an early lead from the Fords.
Last Saturday afternoon, the eighth-ranked Hopkins women’s soccer team came back from an early 1-0 deficit to defeat their Centennial Conference opponent, the Haverford College Fords, 3-1.
“Saturday’s game was an important Conference win. The wind and grass field were definitely a factor, but we were able to dominate the play and come out with the win,” sophomore forward Maddy Rocks said.
Within the fourth minute of the game, the Fords managed to quickly make it onto the scoreboard.
Despite an early lead for the Fords, Hopkins drove the game’s momentum the rest of the way.
“Going forward in the rest of the season, we’re looking to bring the same energy to every game,” Rocks said. “We were down 1-0 at the beginning of the game, but we responded well to their goal and were able to take the lead.”
Freshman forward Riley O’Toole dribbled past two defenders and shot the ball past the Fords’ goalie Julie Hanss to tie the game 1-1.
O’Toole then fired again as she headed a cross from senior forward Michelle Santangelo, giving the Blue Jays their first lead of the game at 2-1.
The goals for O’Toole were her sixth and seventh of the year, putting her in second place on the team for the number of goals scored.
It was senior forward Bailey Monaco who secured the victory for the Blue Jays as she added the final goal of the game to put the Jays up by two. Monaco took a shot from outside the penalty box, zooming into the far lower corner of the net.
Senior goalie Bess Kitzmiller, with the help of the Jays’ defensive line, kept the Fords from scoring another goal.
“Some standout plays were Riley O’Toole’s two goals and Bailey Monaco’s goal too. Bess had multiple great saves, including saving a penalty kick,” Rocks said.
After her two goals last Saturday, O’Toole is seven on the season — an impressive number for a player just entering their first season of collegiate competition.
After Saturday’s victory, the Jays are now 21-7-4 against the Haverford Fords and have won the past five times the two have faced off.
Additionally, after tallying an assist on Saturday, senior forward Michelle Santangelo has scored a point in each of five straight games. She is only the 10th Blue Jay in program history to accomplish this feat. Santangelo now leads the team in both points (19) and goals (eight).
Haverford outshot the Blue Jays 14-12 and took nine corner kicks compared to the Blue Jays’ seven. Despite the aggression from the Fords, Hopkins came out on top with their accuracy and defensive perseverance.
This was shown by Kitzmiller’s six saves in the net compared to the Haverford goalie’s four during the game.
According to Rocks, the Jays plan to stay mindful of the goals they set for themselves as they approach every practice and game for the remainder of their season.
“Some of our goals are to always stay positive, keep our energy up and to play our style of soccer no matter who our opponent is,” Rocks said.
Rocks, a crucial team member on the field this season, tore her ACL during her freshman preseason. She explained the support she received from all members of the program during the recovery process.
“This is my first season, since I tore [my ACL] during preseason last year,” Rocks said. “My transition has been easy, since I had all spring and summer to slowly get back into the swing of things. My coaches, teammates and trainer have been so supportive of me this year, which has helped my transition go even smoother.”
Hopkins returns to Homewood Field for their next Centennial Conference face-off against the Muhlenberg College Mules on Saturday, Oct. 7 at 6 p.m.