Field hockey remains first in Centennial Conference

By HALEY CROSSON | October 11, 2018

COURTESY OF HOPKINSSPORTS.COM Freshman forward Izzy Thompson scores two goals to help defeat Conference foe.

The Hopkins women’s field hockey team handed Muhlenberg College its first loss of the year in the Centennial Conference this past Saturday afternoon at Scotty Wood Stadium in Allentown, Pa.

Muhlenberg got on the board first under five minutes into the game with a goal off a penalty corner. Hopkins took little time to answer back, scoring a goal off a penalty corner of its own. Their goal came from junior midfielder Katie McErlean, who dribbled inside the circle and put the ball in the corner of the net to tie the game. Her goal was the first of many for the Blue Jays.

Freshman forward Izzy Thompson scored her first out of two goals to put Hopkins on top. There was a scramble in front of the Mules’ cage and Thompson was in the right place at the right time.

Freshman midfielder Abby Birk was the next to score for the Blue Jays, as she collected her own rebound off the Muhlenberg goalie and lifted the ball over the Mules’ goalie for the Blue Jays’ third goal.

Birk commented on the Blue Jays’ success on offense this past Saturday.

“Offensively we did a great job of executing on our corners. We scored on three of eight which was really awesome, because we have been working a lot on finishing on corners in practice. We also did a great job of getting the ball up the field and persisting play against Muhlenberg,“ Birk said.

Sophomore Defender Michelle Ryder also reflected on game.

“We were able to capitalize on the opportunities that we were given. We took some risks and were able to re-defend well and it paid off,” Ryder added.

Thompson scored her second goal off a similar scramble in front of the goal to put the Blue Jays up three. Sophomore forward Michaela Corvi scored the fifth and final Blue Jay goal less than three minutes later when she made a great move around her defender and beat the goalie in tight. Hopkins outshot Muhlenberg 15-4 on Saturday.

Muhlenberg began to close in on Hopkins’ lead when they answered off a penalty corner and a hard shot from freshman Sarah Raab. The Blue Jay defense held strong though, not allowing another goal for the last 15 minutes of the game.

The five goals scored by the Blue Jays ties their season high, previously set in their comeback win over York College. It is also the first time the Blue Jays have scored five goals against the Mules since 2006.

Ryder commended the defensive effort.

“Defensively I think we were all low, stepped up to the ball and kept the pressure up. Even when we got beat, everyone was hustling back,” Ryder said.

The win was the first time the Blue Jays beat the Mules at Muhlenberg since 2012 and improved their all time record against the Mules to 20-8. The 10-1 start also continues the Blue Jays’ best start since 2008, when the team started the season undefeated through 11 games.

After this win over the Mules, Hopkins sits at No. 17 in the national NCAA rankings for Division-III Field Hockey. The Blue Jays sit alone at the top of the Centennial Conference going into their next game on Wednesday.

The Blue Jays will be back on the field on Saturday, Oct. 13. Hopkins will travel up to Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pa. for yet another Centennial Conference matchup. Swarthmore is currently in the eighth spot out of the 11 total teams in the Centennial Conference standings.

Following their matchup with Swarthmore, the Blue Jays will play their final non-Conference game of the regular season against Christopher Newport University. The two teams will face off on Monday, Oct. 15 on Homewood Field.

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