Field Hockey overcomes weather in 2-1 victory

By ESTHER HONG | September 13, 2018

HOPKINSSPORTS.COM Freshman midfielder Abby Birk scores her first career goal to help the Blue Jays win 2-1.

A nearly three-hour lightning delay did not hold the Blue Jays back from defeating the Ramapo College of New Jersey Roadrunners Friday night. Luckily, this was not the first time the Jays had fought through inclement weather, as they had pulled out an overtime victory after another lightning delay the previous weekend. 

Hopkins, taking advantage of the weather before the storm swept over Homewood Field, scored both its goals in the first half. Sophomore forward Michaela Corvi took a long ball from junior midfielder Katie McErlean, dribbled past a defender and directed a back-handed shot into the goal from six yards out.

“I thought we played really hard this game and it was a great team win. We came out a little slow but were able to hold possession a lot in the first half. Also, getting an early goal really helped shift our momentum in the right direction,” freshman midfielder Abby Birk said.

The Blue Jays quickly doubled their lead. A little over four minutes after their first goal, McErlean put in a penalty corner to sophomore forward Val Henderson, who then made a sharp pass to Birk. From four yards out, Birk capitalized on the clean assist and scored her first collegiate goal. 

“Scoring my first goal in college was an amazing feeling. I was set up perfectly by my teammates for an easy finish, and getting that second goal so early in the game definitely helped our momentum and gave us some more energy,” Birk said. “It was awesome when I came off the field and all my teammates were cheering and congratulating me for scoring my first goal. They’re always so supportive, and we’ve all been working so hard in practice, so it’s amazing to see all that hard work pay off on the field!” 

With 10:04 left in the first half, both teams headed inside to wait out the storm. After two hours and 47 minutes, play resumed. Despite a two-goal safety net, Hopkins still needed to refocus, channel its performance mindset and defend its lead for one more half. 

“Because of the lightning delay, we had a lot of time to think about and discuss what was working for us and what we needed to improve upon. We talked about making some adjustments to our press and increasing our intensity and speed of play, and I think we did a great job making those adjustments in the second half,” Birk said.

In the second half, the Roadrunners cut their deficit in half after capitalizing on a penalty corner. They gained some momentum after getting onto the scoreboard, but the Blue Jay defense proved to be too dominant for the Roadrunners to make a late comeback. After a long, stormy night, the final score was 2-1. 

“Defense did a great job of stopping any of Ramapo’s breakaways and directing the midfielders on the press. We struggled to execute on corners and finish in the circle after the rain delay, but we still found a way to win, and I’m really proud of the team effort we had all around the field,” Birk said.

Despite not scoring in the second half, Hopkins still dominated offensively throughout the entirety of the game. The Blue Jays outshot the Roadrunners 42-1 and 20-2 in corners. 

Friday night’s matchup was the first ever meeting between the Jays and the Roadrunners, with more face-offs to potentially come in the future. Hopkins improves its overall record to 3-0 for the second year in a row. 

The Blue Jays will be on the road on Saturday, Sept. 15, as they travel up to Bryn Mawr, Pa. to face off against the Bryn Mawr College Owls.

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