The women’s soccer team traveled up to scenic Hoboken, NJ this past weekend to participate in the Engineering Cup. On Saturday they faced off against the hosting Stevens Institute of Technology Ducks, who were ranked No. 24 in the nation.
The following day they matched up against the unranked New York University (NYU) Violets. Both matchups featured relatively shallow histories, with Hopkins having only faced each team three times.
The weekend excursion got off to a rough start as Ducks’ sophomore Fiona Matthews found the back of the net in the 18th minute to give the hosts the lead.
That first goal seemed to go against the balance of play.
Hopkins outshot their opponents 10-5 in the first half and forced five corners to their two.
However, the Jays weren’t able to find the mark within the first 45 minutes.
But of course, Hopkins continued to be determined, steadily creating chances against the Ducks’ defense.
Their offensive showing proved to be fruitful in the 74th minute when senior forward Maddy Rocks swung a cross in from a corner.
The searching ball found the head of freshman defender Molly Reich, who slotted the header into the back of the net, tying the match up at one all.
Reich’s first career goal opened the game up, as chances were being created by both teams left and right.
The Ducks scraped their way into the lead off a late goal by junior Kaitlyn Casiano in the 81st minute.
A goal that late would usually act as a dagger and spell the end for a team. However, Hopkins moved forward unsullied and responded on the very next possession. Casiano committed an egregious foul in her own penalty box, receiving a yellow card and allowing a penalty kick (PK). Senior midfielder Emily Maheras stepped up to the penalty spot, took a deep breath and easily slotted the PK past the keeper, evening the score at 2-2.
Regulation and overtime ended without a peep, as neither team was able to create any legitimate chances.
The match ended officially as a draw for the first time in Hopkins history since the 2017 Centennial Conference Championship.
The game went to penalty kicks to decide the points for the Engineering Cup.
Hopkins captured the win by a score of 4-2 in PKs after sophomore goalie Caitlin Hendricks saved two of the Ducks’ efforts. The win gave the Jays four points in the Engineering Cup.
The next game against NYU was a lot more straightforward. The Jays began their scoring ways bright and early, as junior forward Riley O’Toole found fellow forward, sophomore Rachel Jackson, who placed a shot neatly into the upper right corner in the seventh minute.
The onslaught continued in the 13th minute as the Jays drew another penalty and Maheras converted once again, pushing the lead to 2-0. She explained the key to these early scoring opportunities that the team had been creating all season.
“The key for offensive displays has been to come out strong against every team that we play,” she said. “The high pressure that we’ve been putting on teams from the start of the game has allowed us to take control offensively and diminish the confidence of our opponents right off the bat.”
The final blow was dealt in the 72nd minute when senior midfielder Maggie Coulson found teammate and fellow senior midfielder Carly Lupton-Smith with a sweeping cross.
Lupton-Smith buried a header into the top left corner, making the final score 3-0.
With this win, the Jays not only secured the Engineering Cup, but also pushed their undefeated record against NYU to 4-0.
Maheras had nothing but good things to say about the win.
“Even after a really tough week of games, everyone still came out and performed extremely well,” she said. “I think that the win made everyone even more excited to play again.”
Hopkins will once again travel to New Jersey on Saturday, Sept. 14 to face the Rowan University Profs.That will be the fourth game that the Blue Jays will play in a row in New Jersey. The team doesn’t return to play at home until Sept. 21.