This past Saturday, the Hopkins men’s soccer team played host to the then No. 16 nationally ranked Franklin & Marshall Diplomats. The Blue Jays managed to take down the Diplomats through an unending offensive onslaught by a final score of 4-1.
The game started off quietly, but once it heated up both teams hit the ground running. A little over six and a half minutes into the first half, the Diplomats managed to fire off four straight shots in a matter of two minutes. The Blue Jays defense held steady through it all, as one shot missed, two were blocked by defenders and the final one was saved by sophomore goalie Xander LeFevre.
Franklin & Marshall would get one more shot off before Hopkins could even put together their first, but the Blue Jays would make that first shot count, as they put it into the back of the net courtesy of a tap-in goal from senior midfielder Griffin Cyphers. That goal 14 minutes in was the first of a flurry of goals that would follow, the first of which was an equalizing goal from the Diplomats just over one minute after Cyphers’ goal.
Hopkins would have a response of their own to the equalizing goal and would even one-up the Diplomats in terms of response time. Just 23 seconds after the equalizing goal from the Diplomats, the Blue Jays seized the lead once again, this time off the foot of sophomore midfielder Alejandro Maclean. On his first try, Maclean had a shot rejected by the Diplomat’s goalie, but the goalie could not secure the rebound, and Maclean tapped it in for an easy goal.
From that point on, the Blue Jays would not let go of their lead and managed to add to it as the game progressed. Just under 11 minutes into the second half the Blue Jays got an insurance goal. Freshman defender Brian Lenzer redirected a cross from junior forward Achim Younker for his first career goal.
The final goal of the game came from sophomore forward Pablo Martinez off yet another assist from Younker. The game would end with the Blue Jays beating the Diplomats emphatically by a final score of 4-1.
The offensive outpouring was historic for Hopkins, as they had not scored four or more goals against the Diplomats since 1999. The Blue Jays also broke the streak of six straight matchups with Franklin & Marshall without a win.
Younker would end the game with his own record setting performance thanks to his three assists. He was one assist shy of the team record, and it is the first time a Blue Jay has had three assists since 2000. Younker was named the Centennial Conference’s Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week for his outstanding game.
The offensive explosion was a strong point for the Blue Jays.
“Our biggest success offensively was trusting what we had been working on all year,” Cyphers said.
On Wednesday, Oct. 17 the Blue Jays were back in action, this time against the McDaniel College Green Terror. Hopkins would extend their win streak to four with a 2-1 win over the Green Terror.
Both of the Blue Jays’ goals came in the first half, one thanks to Martinez just under 18 minutes into the first half. The second goal came about a minute later, scored by Maclean.
The Blue Jays defense would hold the Green Terror scoreless in the first half, and in the second half they would surrender only one goal, with only eight minutes left in the game.
“If we play the way we know we can play, there is no team in the Conference that can come close to matching us,” Cyphers said.
The Blue Jays currently sit at the top of the Centennial Conference with only two games left to play. They will play the last place Ursinus College Bears on Saturday in their last regular season home game at 6:30 p.m.