The 24th-ranked Blue Jays women’s soccer team stormed past Swarthmore in the Centennial Conference semifinal matchup 3-1 on Saturday, on the strength of two goals by junior Christina Convey and a goal by sophomore Hannah Kronick.
Hopkins drew first blood 15 minutes into the first half when Kronick placed a precision pass for Convey in the middle of field. Convey then evaded Swarthmore goalkeeper Reba Magier and followed up with an easy goal on the open net.
Just five minutes later Convey did it again, this time volleying a rebound into the upper left corner of the net from 10 yards out to give the Jays a commanding two goals to nil advantage.
Three minutes later Swarthmore had an opportunity to cut into the Hopkins lead with a free kick attempt by Amber Famiglietti, but failed to capitalize as senior keeper Meredith MaGuire made a leaping effort to ward the ball off.
Famiglietti had a chance to redeem herself in the 40th minute, when she lofted a bending corner kick to the far goalpost. Teammate Emily Gale met the ball with a header to slice the Jays’ margin in half just before halftime.
For the first 20 minutes of the second half, neither team could maintain much possession deep in the opposing squad’s territory, with most of the play staying in the middle of the pitch.
Amy Dipierro for the Garnet missed by a hair in the 73rd minute, and teammate Emma Sindelar also had an excellent chance to equalize the score, but was denied by an outstanding game-saving play by freshman Hope Lundberg.
Hopkins’ defense remained steadfast from that point on, and Kronick scored in the 86th minute, landing a kick into the lower left corner of the net to seal the victory for the Jays.
Haverford and Gettysburg faced off in the other semifinal match, with Haverford upsetting the 2nd seeded Bullets 2-1. The last time the Jays faced the Fords they won easily, 5-1.
Sunday afternoon the matchup however was much more tense, with Haverford managing an upset of 2-1, with the clinching goal coming in the 80th minute.
Hopkins opened the game on fire, with Convey firing a shot on goal that ricocheted off the crossbar just 40 seconds into the match, and the Jays as a whole shooting on goal three times in the first two minutes of the half.
Convey then continued her stellar play in the Centennial Conference tournament by rocketing home a shot in the seventh minute for her third goal of the tourney. The left-footed shot came from the top of the box and sailed past the outstretched goalie Robin Chernow to give the Jays a 2-0 lead.
The string of near-misses for the Jays continued as Hannah Kronick’s lofting attempt in the 17th minute just hit the crossbar. Haverford took advantage of Hopkins’ offensive misfortunes, with Phoebe Miller registering a header goal off of a well-placed free kick assist by Sarah Hoffman in the 19th minute to knot the game up at 1-1.
Chernow played very well throughout the remainder of the game, making a number of saves to keep the game tied, including stopping a one-on-one attempt by freshman Issy Berkey and another quality Kronick shot.
Much like the previous game, the second half was initially dominated by midfield play, with both teams evenly matched. Haverford broke through in the 73rd minute, but Maguire made the save to keep the score equal. Kronick then got the ball on the other side of the field mere seconds later, but her attempt went wide.
Meg Boyer of the Fords then placed a perfect 30-yard boot into the upper right corner of the net, slipping it just past Maguire’s outstretched arms seven minutes later.
The loss ended Hopkins’ string of seven straight Centennial Conference titles and gave Haverford its only victory at Homewood Field in the last 18 years. The Fords (14-3-2) were assured a spot in the NCAA tournament, while the Jays (15-4-1) were chosen on Monday to make their eighth straight and eleventh overall appearance in the tourney, as they will host a four-team regional consisting of themselves, Lancaster Bible, third-ranked Virginia Wesleyan, and Rowan that will take place Nov. 10-11.