Women's soccer opens season with two easy victories

By HALEY CROSSON | September 6, 2018

HOPKINSSPORTS.COM Sophomore forward Riley O’Toole added three goals to the weekend.

The Blue Jays started the season off with a bang with a combined 12-1 victory margin in their first two games. They defeated Washington and Lee University 5-1 on Friday and Shenandoah University 7-0 on Saturday in Pittsburgh.

Washington and Lee opened up the scoring on Friday with a diving header only eight minutes into the first half. After that, it was all Blue Jays. 

Hopkins tallied two goals from junior midfielder Maggie Coulson to overcome the Generals. For her offensive efforts, Coulson was named Offensive Player of the Week by the Centennial Conference. Also for Hopkins, junior forward Maddy Rocks, sophomore forward Riley O’Toole and sophomore midfielder Alexandra Damron all added one goal. 

Hopkins topped the preseason poll of the Centennial Conference and came in at No. 6 for all of Division III women’s soccer. The team showed why they earned that ranking by shutting out Shenandoah on Saturday. 

O’Toole got the Blue Jays started in the ninth minute of the game by dribbling around two defenders and kicking one past the goalie. The next goal came from freshman forward Rachel Jackson. 

O’Toole, who had three goals this past weekend, commented on the Blue Jays’ influx of talent on the offensive end. 

“This weekend proved that we have a lot of new talent to bring into our already dangerous offense,” O’Toole said.

Sophomore goalie Robyn Lipschultz also commented on the fresh new talent. 

“This weekend gave us the chance to solidify our team defense and work on forming a strong unit that combined returning players and our new freshmen class. Having the freshmen be able to step up seamlessly allowed us to be so successful,” Lipschultz said.

Lipschultz, who has only let up one goal in the last two matches, talked about the Blue Jay defense, which has been very successful.

“Allowing only one goal on the weekend was great, and it was important for us to preserve the shutout in the second game. We need everyone to be at the top of their game and working together in order to beat Messiah [College], which has historically been one of our toughest games of the season,” Lipschultz said. 

Anticipating an intense battle on the field Wednesday night against Messiah College, the Blue Jays were confident in where they stood leading up to the matchup. 

“With five different players scoring and 12 goals on the weekend, we [were] in a great spot to take on Messiah on Wednesday,” O’Toole said. 

Before grabbing their first two wins of the season, the Blue Jays went on a trip to Europe to play against world-renowned talent, train and explore different parts of Berlin and Europe. They played scrimmages against FC Union Berlin, FFC Turbine Potsdam and KS AZS Wroclaw.

After their two wins, Hopkins is tied for first in the Centennial Conference with Dickinson College. The Blue Jays are following a perfect Centennial Conference season in 2017, after which they fell in the Conference Championship in penalty kicks. 

Hopkins looks ahead to another strong year, as it returns 21 of their players from last season, including their top two scorers, O’Toole and graduate student forward Michelle Santangelo. 

After playing the fifth-ranked Messiah Falcons last night, the Blue Jays will head to Newport News, Va. this upcoming weekend to compete in the Captains Classic, where they will face off Virginia Wesleyan on Friday and Christopher Newport on Sunday.

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