Senior midfielder Erica Suter has had a sensational soccer career at Hopkins, and it only got better this weekend against Drew and Arcadia Universities.
Competing in Drew's annual Fall Festival, Suter scored five goals and is now tied for the most career points in Hopkins history with 105. She is also a mere three scores away from the goals record of 46.
In her first game of the weekend, the senior led the Blue Jays to an 8-0 victory over Drew with her second career hat trick, pushing her career goal total to 41 and point total to 103.
In the very next game against Arcadia, the ride continued for Suter as she scored her team's only goals in a 2-0 Hopkins victory.
In those two games, Suter poured in five of her team's ten total goals to help the Blue Jays advance to 4-0 on the season and earn a seventh-place national ranking.
Suter's five goals were yet another chapter in a marvelous three-plus-year career, during which she has earned all-Centennial Conference first team honors in 2008 and 2010, all-Centennial second team honors in 2009, first team all-Centennial freshmen team honors in 2008, all-Region third team honors in 2008 and all-Region first team honors in 2009 and 2010.
However, it is her fourth and final year that will mean the most to her if the Blue Jays can finally break through to the national championship game.
Along with her individual accolades, Suter has experienced great team success as a member of three Centennial Conference Championship teams from 2008-2010 and two Elite Eight qualifying squads in 2009 and 2010.
However, the ultimate goal of any team is to hoist the gold plated national championship trophy, and her Blue Jays have yet to reach that ultimate standard.
While some would think this year might be a down year after graduating six seniors, perhaps this is actually the season where they put it all together.
Along with the talented Suter, this Blue Jay team still boasts twelve upperclassmen that have seen national tournament action to couple with a superb group of youngsters ready to step into new roles.
In the journey for that ever elusive title, Suter must play an integral role as the season moves forward, not only as a dynamic player on the field, but also as a guiding influence in the locker room.
Whether as a motivating force for the seasoned veterans or a mentor for the younger players, Suter's election to captaincy was no mistake.
Being a vital contributor since her freshman year has given the senior a tremendous amount of knowledge about the game — something the newest players on the team would do well to take advantage of.
While many people talk about a transition phase for players when ascending to higher levels of competition, Suter never seemed to be out of her comfort zone.
As a freshman, she led the team in scoring with 27 points and hasn't looked back, notching 28 points as a sophomore, 33 as a junior, and has already put in 17 in four games in 2011.
Perhaps it is a sign that as her play has improved, so has the play of her team.
While it is almost assured that the senior will break the Hopkins record for most career points, hopefully that won't be the only trophy she gets to hoist, as she brings a tremendous four year career to a close this 2011 fall season.
Be sure to support Erica Suter and the rest of the Blue Jays women's soccer team this year in their journey for a seventh consecutive Centennial Conference Championship and first ever National Championship, continuing this weekend at Washington College.