Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
April 21, 2024

M. Soccer thwarted by Mules defense

By SYDNEY TENG | September 27, 2012

It was a cold rainy evening last Saturday as Muhlenburg College (5-1-0) hosted the Blue Jays (3-4-0), concluding ‘Mule Week’ athletic competition between the two schools. The Jays’ high pressure approach wasn’t enough to stop the unwavering Muhlenburg offense, powered by senior All-American Cody Antonini. For Hopkins, sophomore keeper Nick Cerrone played a phenomenal game, notching a career high 13 saves, despite the 2-0 final result. Often, corner kick statistics are indicative of the possession and flow of the game. Such was the case as most of the first half play was limited to the Hopkins half. Right from the start, the Mules earned a corner in the 35th second, just one of ten to the Jay’s three overall. The game remained scoreless until the 37th minute when senior forward Danny Way of Muhlenburg tucked a header inside the far post from junior Chris Royer to put the Mules up 1-0 over Hopkins. As the rain increased to a downpour, Hopkins had a flurry of promising plays at the start of the second half. In recent games, the creative and daring play of sophomore midfielder Kotaro Mitsuhashi and Junior Danny Reategui has produced some exciting goals. Although Mitsuhashi managed to get a couple good looks at net and was a major contributor to the overall offensive effort that evening, Muhlenburg ended up outshooting Hopkins 25-6. Mitsuhashi commented on the loss Saturday evening, citing several issues that led to the result. “We were not used to their field, since most of us freshman [and] sophomores have never played on their field,” pointed out the Midfielder. When asked about the Jay’s offense, Mitsuhashi acknowledged the difference in the two halves saying, “In the first half of the game we relied too heavily on long balls... we changed it up in the second half to a more possession style play which created many more scoring chances.” Soon after the exciting opening moments of the second half, the play once more turned in favor of Muhlenburg. Keeper Nick Cerrone posted yet another solid effort, one that opposing teams have no doubt come to expect and fear. However, Muhlenburg kept Cerrone and the Hopkins defense at work the entire game, with Cerrone tallying four saves in one particular two minute span in the second half. The relentless Mule attack would convert once more in the 62nd minute with the elusive footwork and tactical finishing of the All-American Cody Antonini. Scoring unassisted, Antonini slid in behind the left flank and fired a supremely placed shot past Cerrone, despite the tight angle. With Saturday’s performance, Antonini has earned 90 points in his overall career. As the closing minutes of the game approached, a myriad of substitutions from the Hopkins bench could not break the Muhlenburg possession. The game ended with a solid 2-0 win over Hopkins, allowing Muhlenburg to clinch the uncontested first place position in the Centennial Conference. Hopkins, now 1-1 in conference play, will return to the pitch on familiar Homewood turf this Thursday against the Gettysburg Bullets. Gettysburg is also 3-4 overall, however only 0-2 in conference play.  Along with the consistent play of Cerrone, the Blue Jays’ offense will turn to the colorful play of Sophomore captain Rob Hueler, as well as Mitsuhashi and Reategui, to connect with Senior captian Nick White’s exceptional finishing. Hueler leads the team in assists with three so far this year while correspondingly, White’s three goals top the team scoring statistics. Also a player to keep an eye on is Forward Matt Carey, a quick and tenacious Sophomore, looking to increase his overall contribution to the Blue Jay offense this season. When asked about personal goals this year, Mitsuhashi had this to say, “...I’d like to score ten goals this season. I only have two goals right now so I’m a little behind but hopefully this Thursday I can start scoring again.” With the season hitting the halfway mark, the team is very motivated about their upcoming Gettysburg game. Says Mark Spencer, Sophomore Defender, “We know we’re better than our record shows and we’re looking to improve it.”

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