Last Saturday, Hopkins men's soccer hosted nationally ranked Swarthmore in what would be one of the most exciting games of the season. Unfortunately, the evening concluded in heartbreaking fashion as the Garnet topped the Blue Jays 3-1, scoring their three goals in only 16 minutes.
Despite the sobering result, the score was not at all indicative of the game, as the underdog Blue Jays put forth a valiant effort.
Prior to the game, seniors on both teams were honored, including Brandon Sumpio, Matt Dunne and Nick White. Both Dunne and White are Senior Captains of the squad.
Due to low numbers on the bench, Dunne and White played in the back for the Jays despite their normal offensive positions. Dunne's composure and footwork shined throughout the match as he deftly dodged Swarthmore forwards and distributed the ball along the left flank. White stood tall with authority in the center back, decisively clearing the ball in moments of desperation for the Blue Jays defense. On the other end of the field, the hustle and tenacity of Sumpio paid off with a goal for the senior forward. The three Hopkins seniors have played an integral role in the Jay's efforts this year with their solid performance and steady command both on and off the field.
After Senior Day celebrations, the match kicked off at a feverish pace. Hopkins wasted no time in bringing it to the Garnet. Utilizing their mix of long balls and small-sided play, the Jays appeared to control much of the first half possession.
Freshman center midfielder Ian Heinrich played an aggressive first half that contributed much direction to the attack. Although his boisterous play got him a yellow card in the closing minutes of the first half, the freshman has displayed a promising first year of play with solid vision and plenty of heart in the center mid.
Heinrich's efforts were very much declarative of the entire team's work ethic. Swarthmore defenders were on their heels the entire half, trying to head away probing long passes and simultaneously keep up with the slick and impressive off-the-ball movement and one-touch passing of the Blue Jays.
Hopkins's endeavors would force Swathmore's keeper, junior Peter Maxted, to make five saves in the first half as the Jays outshot the Garnet 8-3. With only a few impressive, but off target, strikes from Swarthmore's offense, it appeared as though Hopkins had more than a fighting chance in this match at the half.
Only one minute into the second half, Sumpio scored a much-deserved goal to put Hopkins on top, 1-0. Chasing down a slotted feed, Sumpio was originally denied by the Garnet goalie in the one-on-one.
However, Maxted could not hang onto the shot, and with a defender hot on his heels, Sumpio followed up his own attempt to put the ball away in tight quarters. A sense of urgency gripped the field as powerhouse Swarthmore, ranked number one in the Centennial Conference, suddenly found themselves trailing mid-ranked Hopkins.
As the tide shifted in the Garnet's favor, Hopkins defense found themselves fending off the continual attack. With much at stake, both teams conceded many fouls throughout the game, totaling 33 in all.
Unfortunately, Hop could not hold off the Garnet for the remainder of the game. Directly following an extremely close call and impressive block from the Hopkins defense, Swarthmore earned a throw-in deep in Hopkins territory. The toss would find the head of freshman David Geschwind who powerfully redirected the ball right past Cerrone into the top of the net.
Discouraged but not defeated, Hopkins set back up for the restart. Continuing their admirable play, Hopkins managed to hold off Swat until the 88th minute. Off of a Garnet corner kick, the loose ball was struck with a fine volley from senior John Pontillo. After ricocheting off the multiple bodies in the box, the strike took a lucky dip that found the far side back corner, squeezing in under Cerrone's reach.
With nothing to lose, the Jays played high pressure for the remaining minutes. This opened up the Hopkins defense, thereby allowing for a breakaway situation for Swathmore. The chipped shot over Cerrone ended the game with the 3-1 result.
The Blue Jays close out the season this weekend against Washington College.
Late Wednesday night score, Men’s Soccer played McDaniel, winning 1-0. Full coverage can be seen in next week’s issue.