Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
January 28, 2022

Dramatically, M. Soccer claims spot in CC tournament

By ERICK SUN | November 1, 2012

One week ago, with two games remaining in the 2012 regular season the Hopkins men’s soccer team was sitting at 5-7-2 overall with a less than stellar conference record of 3-3-1 after dropping three straight games. The team was truly on the bubble of the Centennial Conference Tournament, threatening to drop an 11 year streak of consecutive playoff appearances.

With that knowledge in hand, head coach Craig Appleby wanted to keep his players on an even keel. “The goal has always been to focus on each individual game coming up and to perform the best we can for that game. Having said that we knew if we won our last 2 games we would be in the tournament,” he said.

Flash forward to this past weekend, and the feel around the locker room is completely different. With two straight shutout wins to close the year, the Blue Jays qualified for the conference tourney in dramatic fashion on the final day of the season.

The surge into the playoffs began last Wednesday against McDaniel College. In the late afternoon, mid-week game, it seemed as if both offenses were still warming up after a long day of classes. The first half saw just one shot on net for each team and only nine shots total. The back and forth defensive battle ultimately had the game tied 0-0 as both teams headed to the locker rooms at halftime.

However, the offense started flowing in the second half, culminating in what would prove to be the game-winning goal for Hopkins from junior Blue Jay midfielder Danny Reategui in the 52nd minute.

With the goal, and the momentum, the Hopkins offense found their rhythm as they followed the goal with five shots in the next eight minutes. By game’s end, the Blue Jay offense had outshot McDaniel 16-9 and won 2-0.

A quick turnaround for the team had them playing their final game of the season just three days later against Washington (Md.), this time with a berth in the Centennial Conference Tournament on the line for Hopkins.

“The atmosphere was good in the locker room. The guys were focused but not overly stressed, the mood was light not heavy. They were ready to enjoy their last regular season game and I believe they did,” Appleby said.

Unlike their first game of the week, the offense got started immediately as sophomore Simon Rojas scored his first goal of the season just five minutes into the contest off of a corner kick from junior Birin Padam.

“Against Washington the main focus was to put as much pressure on Washington’s goal as possible. We needed to win so we encouraged the guys to commit to getting forward and creating chances,” Coach Appleby said of their gameplan.

Throughout the game the Blue Jays played with an intensity the Shoremen could not match. Hopkins outshot Washington (Md.) 20-6 while keeper Cerrone saw just two shots on net, both of which he saved.

With an insurance goal in the 43rd minute by freshman Eric Buck, Hopkins would take the 2-0 win and a spot in the conference tournament.

Despite the up-and-down season, the men’s soccer team made their way into the playoffs behind a well-coached group of veterans and young emerging stars. While returning players such as Cerrone and senior midfielder Brandon Sumpio were the known commodities, the Blue Jays also benefited from major contributions by younger players like freshman Josh Hong.

In the CC Tournament, the #4 seed the Blue Jays got the most out of their roster as they hosted #5 Franklin & Marshall Wednesday night, winning 2-1 in overtime. Check out next week’s issue of The News-Letter for full coverage of the game.

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