The Hopkins men’s soccer team kicked off the season at the Blue Jay Invitational on September 1 at Homewood Field. In the opening match of the tournament, the Blue Jays faced William Patterson University.
The Jays struck first, courtesy of sophomore Matt Carey. Sophomore Rob Heuler lead a great through ball that enabled Carey to beat his defender and drive a shot to the right post and out of the William Patterson goalie’s reach.
In the seventy-sixth minute, William Patterson almost tied the match on a penalty kick but was quickly denied. Sophomore goaltender Nick Cerrone stopped the penalty kick and averted the equalizer. Despite the missed penalty kick, the Pioneers of William Patterson would not be denied in the coming minutes.
Benefitting from the man advantage, the Pioneers capitalized on a bad clear by the Blue Jays defense and Marcus Hackett put the ball in the back of the net to tie up the game at one apiece. With the game tied going to the end of regulation, it would take an overtime goal to secure a victory. The game winner came from Hackett once again in the ninety-fifth minute and sealed the victory.
Nick Cerrone finished with six saves, while the Pioneer goalie made two stops. William Patterson held the clear advantage in shots (18-8).
The next day, the game to culminate the tournament was cancelled.
The Blue Jays returned to the field this past Saturday to take on Kean University at the Blue Jay Classic hosted by Elizabethtown College.
In the first half, shots were fairly even and neither team scored. However, the second half was a different story. Kean took a more aggressive approach and it paid off in their shot count, but thanks to sophomore Nick Cerrone, it did not affect their bottom line. Kean outshot Hopkins 13-8 in the second half, with nine of the shots coming on goal. This kept Cerrone very busy, but he was up to the challenge.
The score remained a draw until the eighty-seventh minute when senior Nick White took a penalty kick coming off of a Kean handball.
Kean attempted to respond twice with back-to-back shots on goal in less than ten seconds. Luckily for the Jays, Cerrone was there to deny both shots and preserve the one goal lead. In the eighty-ninth minute, junior Danny Reategui scored a goal to solidify the Jays’ victory. Sophomore Matt Carey led a pass to Reategui and he launched the ball inside the far post.
This was the first victory of the season for the Blue Jays, but the real story was the performance by sophomore Cerrone. He finished the day with 12 saves, the most any Hopkins keeper had accumulated in 22 years. This strong performance will give the Blue Jays a boost as they move into the height of their season. Knowing that Cerrone will be a stud keeper between the posts will increase the confidence of the rest of the players. He carried this performance into the match against Elizabethtown.
On the following day, the Blue Jays took on their host in a tough match-up. Most of the play occured at midfield, ensuring no goals were scored in regulation. Despite the Blue Jays having the edge in shots, Elizabethtown was able to punch in a decisive goal in the one hundred and second minute.
On Wednesday night, the Blue Jays found some momentum to work with, dominating St. Mary’s College of Maryland 3-0. The Jays were led by sophomores Kotaro Mitsuhashi, who scored two goals, and Rob Heuler, who dished two assists.
Despite getting off to a 2-2 start, the Blue Jays have been playing hard-nosed soccer. Both of the losses came in overtime, and they have been playing strong throughout the first four games.
Hopkins will begin conference play this Saturday at Homewood Field against Haverford College. Game time is set for 2:30 p.m.