Last Saturday, the 13th-ranked Hopkins men’s soccer team played their last scheduled home game on Homewood Field against the Ursinus College Bears. The Jays improved their record to 6-2 in the Conference and 12-3-1 overall, in a clean 3-0 victory against the Bears, who have yet to tally a win on the season.
Junior forward Achim Younker said that the Bears’ weak record did not make the Jays complacent, however.
“[For this game] we were focused on getting better as a team and just trying to reach perfection in everything that we did,” he said. “We often say that the only thing stopping us from reaching our goals is ourselves, so we really tried to make an effort to minimize our mistakes and prevent the other team from getting any chances off of our errors.”
Right away, the Jays started the game off with strength and aggression, Younker taking a shot at 4:01. Ursinus goalie Brandon Lillian blocked it, keeping the score at 0-0. Lillian wouldn’t catch a break, however, as Hopkins worked to keep the ball primarily on Ursinus’ side of the field for most of the game. The Jays took two more shots, one from senior midfielder Gerrit Church and one from sophomore forward Alejandro Maclean, before scoring their first goal. With assists from Younker and freshman defender Tim Treinen, sophomore forward and Centennial Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Week Pablo Martinez scored his sixth goal of the season at 25:54.
With the spirit of Senior Night in the air, senior defender Cole Rosenberger quickly tapped in another goal off an assist from junior left back Connor Jacobs, his third goal of the season. The Jays would take three more shots in the half but wouldn’t score again until after halftime. Ending the half with eight shots to Ursinus’ one, the Jays went into the 15-minute halftime break up 2-0.
Hopkins raced into the second half with even more boldness than the first. Within the first 15 minutes, the Jays had already totaled seven shots in the half. It was clear that this intensity came from not just one individual but the entire team: A variety of players including Maclean, Younker, Martinez, Church, sophomore midfielder RJ Moore and senior midfielder Griffin Cyphers took shots. Four of these shots went wide and Lillian saved the other three. At 73:07, Church went for another shot but was stopped again by Lillian.
Ursinus’ goalie was not the only one saving shots however, as Hopkins senior goalie Jeremy Ratcliff put up his team’s first save of the match at 85:26. Within the minute, junior forward Liam Moylan took a shot, only for it Lillian to save it. Undiscouraged, Moylan got the ball right back and dashed up the field for a breakaway goal, his third of the season.
At 88:19, the Bears made a last-ditch attempt to put a goal on the board with a header from senior Ben Amaral. The effort was fruitless, however, as Ratcliff stopped it for Jay’ second save of the game. The game was over soon after that. With a final score at 3-0, Hopkins reaffirmed their tie for first place in the Centennial Conference and ensured themselves a spot in the Conference tournament.
The win was a nice outcome for the final home game scheduled for the season and for Senior Night. Ratcliff, Church, Cyphers, Rosenberger, senior forward Sebastian Salathe, and senior midfielder Arden Chew were honored for their contributions to the program.
“This senior class has been invaluable to our team culture. Both on and off the field, they represent Hopkins soccer to the fullest. Their experience is something that we all lean on heavily and will surely be missed after this season,” Younker said.
Hopkins will return to the turf at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 at Dickinson College to finish Conference play.