Women’s soccer got off to a blazing start in Centennial Conference play this past weekend, beating the Bryn Mawr College Owls by a ridiculous margin. The Jays went out and beat the Owls on their own turf by a score of 12-0, which was good enough to become the program record for goals in a game. Hopkins’ record improved to 5-1 and 1-0 in Conference.
The plan of attack for the Jays could definitely be characterized as early and often, as sophomore forward Riley O’Toole scored a swift 15 seconds into the game. This tempo of attack typifies exactly what the Jays want to accomplish.
“High pressure from the whistle helped us get the first goal and will be key against other teams in our conference,” senior defensive captain Toni Abate said.
From that point on, it was smooth sailing for Hopkins. Soon after her first goal, O’Toole doubled up with another goal, once again burying her shot from the left side of the field. The floodgates fully opened from that point on, as the Jays would go on to score five more goals in that half, producing a 7-0 scoreline even before halftime.
Junior midfielder Emily Maheras logged her first goal of the season with a beautiful header on a cross from fellow junior midfielder Carly Lupton-Smith. Graduate student forward Michelle Santangelo racked up back-to-back goals, 19 minutes apart, which were quickly followed by goals by freshman forward Rachel Jackson — her sixth of the season — and senior forward Kristen Hori, her first of the season.
Abate pointed to the team’s activity and pace as the reasons for their hot start in the first half.
“We were moving well off the ball and opening up space for combination play,” she said.
Their swift attacks put the Owls behind the eight ball immediately, and the continued pressure that Abate emphasized allowed the Jays to bury their opponent in the second half.
If it wasn’t apparent that Hopkins was firing on all cylinders in the first half, they made sure to continue their offensive dominance early in the second half.
Three minutes after halftime, sophomore defender Mizuho Obayashi netted her first career goal on an assist from junior midfielder Paige Ackman, sliding it past the opposing team’s goalie to make it 8-0. Ackman assisted on another goal, this time finding junior midfielder Maggie Coulson for her fifth goal of the season, as she fired a long strike from outside the box to make the score 9-0.
Less than two minutes after Coulson’s goal, Obayashi did it to the Owls again, putting the ball just out of the goalie’s reach, increasing the Blue Jay lead to 10. The scoring was punctuated by two more goals late in the game, as freshman forward Arianna Konstantopoulos notched her first career goal in the 69th minute and sophomore midfielder Samantha Hoffman scoring her first career goal as well, capping the game off in the 87th minute.
In total, Hopkins fired a total of 37 shots, 22 of them on goal, and did not allow the Owls to produce a shot.
Abate voiced praise for her teammates’ performances, pointing toward the multi-faceted attack as another key to their success.
“We had significant contributions from many different players — nine of which scored goals,” she said. “We will look to utilize our depth for the rest of the other Conference matchups.”
The team is loaded with talent throughout the roster, especially in the junior and sophomore classes. Considering that their leading scorer is freshman Rachel Jackson, the future also looks to be bright for the Jays. Of course, the senior leadership will continue to lead this team to future success, providing the example for the rest of the team for what it takes for them to succeed. Signs point to the Jays continuing their success with the offensive firepower and stout defense.
The Jays defeated York College on Wednesday, Sept. 19 5-2 and will be hosting Washington College this Saturday at Homewood Field.