The Hopkins men’s soccer team fell to the Dickinson Red Devils this past Saturday in the exciting opening game of the newly built Phyllis Joan Miller Memorial Field at Dickinson. The game was well played, with nail-biting chances for both teams in the first half, conversions for each squad in the second half and a last minute Dickinson goal in the 89th minute to end the game 2-1.
The initial minutes of the game saw shots on both sides with fouls sprinkled in between, a sign of the intensity to come. Sophomore midfielder Kotaro Mitsuhashi, a familiar face of the Blue Jay’s offense, had several looks at the Dickinson goal in the beginning, forcing Red Devils’ senior keeper Cody Hickok to work in net. Hickok would tally six saves that evening as both teams continued to pepper the other side with shots — and fouls — in the first half.
Play continued in the back-and-forth manner, keeping both sides on their toes. Two of Hopkins’s four corner kicks capped off the half. The Devils edged out the Jays in the category, earning six corners in total. However, neither team were able to convert on these crucial chances, ending the first half in a scoreless draw.
Kicking off the second half, the Red Devils were first on the scoreboard, striking on a counterattack after a bout of Hopkins shots and a corner kick. Dickinson senior Shepherd Waldenburger squeaked through the Blue Jay’s defensive line in the 48th minute to put one past the usually impenetrable wall that has been the Hopkins keeper Nick Cerrone.
From there, the game took an aggressive turn as both sides continued to get looks at each others net. However, the low number of saves and fruitless corner kicks suggested hurried and sloppy play on both sides’ parts.
Correspondingly, foul calls picked up with two yellow cards being issued, one for each team, as well as an all-important penalty call. Dickinson junior Javier Mena stepped up to the line in the 62nd minute after a Hopkins foul in the box, only to be denied by Cerrone.
The penalty kick save is a testament to Cerrone’s key contributions to Hopkins soccer this year. With a collection of Centennial Conference leading statistics, including a save percentage of 0.859, Cerrone commands the field like any quality keeper with a vital vocality that instructs both his defense and offense.
After the electrifying penalty save, Hopkins answered with a goal in the 70th minute by Freshman midfielder Josh Hong, unassisted. Hong has proven his merit for the Jays, notching the third goal of his young collegiate career. Filling in the role of the ever elusive outside mid position, Hong has demonstrated an aptitude to read the game by making well-timed diagonal and flanking runs. With choice feeds from the defense and center midfielder Rob Hueler, Hong has sliced through opposing defenders with a combination of these runs and exceptional skills on the ball.
Unfortunately for Hopkins, the inspiring actions in the middle of the second half would not lead to a victory. Coming at the heartbreaking time of the 89th minute, Mena would get on the scoresheet finally with an assist to junior forward Derek Kachadurian on the finishing end. With that goal, Dickinson secured the win on their new home turf with a final score of 2-1, outshooting the Blue Jays 18-11 overall.
Unable to pull off the upset, Johns Hopkins remains in the middle of the Centennial pack, currently at fourth place in the Conference. Dickinson improves to a 4-1-1 record, currently sitting at second place right behind Swarthmore.
Hopkins will return to play this Saturday against the first place Garnet under the Homewood Fiel lights. Additionally, this match is Senior Day for Hopkins as the Blue Jay seniors will be honored prior to the kickoff. The festivities and added meaning of the evening are sure to incite an entertaining match to end Hopkins’ regular season conference play.