The men’s soccer team was victorious once again. This time the No. 5 ranked Blue Jays defeated the Ursinus College Bears 2-0 on Saturday at Patterson Field in Collegeville, Pa. The Jays are now 12-2-1 on the year, with a 5-1-1 record in the Centennial Conference.
The first half was scoreless, with neither team able to break the deadlock. However, things changed quickly in the second half. Less than 10 minutes after the whistle blew to restart the game, Hopkins took the lead when junior midfielder RJ Moore played the ball down the right side to sophomore forward Jake Kooyman.
Kooyman, faced with a one-on-one with the Ursinus goalie Tyler Lewin, went for the chip to try and make it past Lewin. The ball floated over Lewin’s head and landed in the back of the net, giving Hopkins a 1-0 lead in the 54-minute that they would not relinquish for the rest of the contest.
Moore felt good about the team’s chances going into the game against the Bears. He was excited to play at full strength coming off of some injuries that hampered him earlier on in the season.
“I was definitely confident going into the game. This is a crucial stretch of games for us, and coming off of a couple of good wins these past few weeks, we felt strong,” Moore said. “Personally, I was injured for a few games earlier in the year but am healthy now, so I was ready to make an impact.
He explained how the team persevered through the deadlock.
“Though we would’ve preferred to get a goal in the first half, we just needed to continue to be patient for a breakthrough to happen,” Moore said. “Going into the second half, we were all confident that if we continued to execute our game plan, we could get a goal and control the game.”
The Blue Jays almost scored again just five minutes later. Junior forward Jonathan Brown took a shot that made it past the goalie. However, an Ursinus defender came into the box at the last second and was able to make a goal-line clearance, keeping the Hopkins lead to just one for the time being.
That defense was not able to last, though. In the 77-minute, the Jays added an insurance goal in a similar method to the first. This time Moore played the ball through to junior midfielder Nate Charendoff, who also lifted the ball over the goalie and into the back of the net. Charendoff’s goal was a strong finish that mirrored his teammate Kooyman’s opener and sealed the Hopkins victory. Lewin was once again helpless and unable to stop the curled shot.
This was Moore’s 13th career assist, putting the junior at 16 for most all-time in Hopkins men’s soccer history. Junior goalie Xander LeFavre had a quiet day on the Hopkins defensive end, only having to make one save to earn his sixth shutout of the season and the 12th of his Hopkins career.
Hopkins outshot Ursinus 15-7 and won the corner battle 8-3. Hopkins improved their record to 38-7-2 against Ursinus all time, and they are unbeaten in their last 24 meetings against the Bears.
After the win Hopkins sits only two points behind the Franklin and Marshall College Diplomats for the top spot in the Centennial Conference. While they are battling for the top spot, the Jays also need to be wary of those behind them. The Jays are also only one point ahead of the Dickinson College Red Devils, who are in third place. Hopkins will be hosting the Devils in the season finale. The Nov. 2 matchup against the Devils will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Homewood Field.
Moore was pleased with the way his team performed. He also noted, however, that the team needs to concentrate on future victories so that they can accomplish their goal of winning the Centennial Conference championship.
“Getting the win felt great, but now we’re shifting our focus to the next game. We need to close out the season strong as we prepare for the Centennial Conference playoffs,” Moore said.