This past Saturday, the women’s soccer team traveled to Collegeville, Pa. to face off against the Ursinus College Bears, bringing a modest three game win streak with them.
For all three of these victories, the final result was decided by one goal, and the Jays looked to bring this resilience with them on the road.
Sophomore goalie Caitlin Hendricks explained the team’s mindset as they headed into the matchup against Ursinus, who they had never lost against.
“Despite the fact that Ursinus is currently at the bottom of the table, we knew that this was an important game,” she said. “Our goal was to focus on playing our game and applying pressure to them right off the bat.”
The Jays did just that, forcing the issue early and often, creating opportunities at every single turn.
They started the offense attack with a shot in the fourth minute by junior defender Mizuho Obayashi, which forced a save from the Ursinus goalie.
Less than a minute later, Hopkins forced their first corner of the afternoon.
The set piece amounted to nothing, but it showed the Jays’ attacking prowess in the game.
The Jays kept the ball in the Bears’ half of the field, winning the possession game thoroughly in the first 20 minutes.
Hopkins drew a foul right outside the box, and senior midfielder Maggie Coulson stepped up to take the free kick.
The captain didn’t put the shot over the wall, nor under the wall, but curled the ball around the right side.
The shot snuck into the bottom right corner of the goal, giving the Jays the ever important 1-0 lead.
The rest of the first half was characterized by that possessive domination from the Jays, as they took the lead into halftime and outshot the Bears 8-2.
Hendricks gave some insight as to why they were able to control the game in the first half.
“We pride ourselves on staying organized as a team and communicating with each other constantly,” she said. “Given these two things, we kept possession for the majority of the game and didn’t give Ursinus the opportunity to be dangerous.”
The second half opened up with the same level of control as the first half.
In the 47th minute, junior midfielder Alex Damron fired off a shot that required a save from the Bears’ goalie.
Minutes later, senior midfielder Emily Maheras sent another shot toward the goal that sailed above the crossbar.
The attempts didn’t come to fruition, but they set the tone for the entire half, where the Jays pressed the Bears and never let up.
The Jays ended up out shooting Ursinus 7-2 in the second half, forcing the Bears’ goalie to make three saves.
The hosts were unable to test Hendricks for the entire game, as she only had to make a single save in the 77th minute.
The game ended without a bang, as the Jays won 1-0.
Hendricks picked up her fifth clean sheet of the season, and Coulson made her first goal of the season.
Hendricks shared how the team was feeling after the decisive win.
“We’re very excited about the winning streak that we’ve been on, but we’re not getting cocky,” she said. “We know as we move into the playoffs and our final Conference games, every moment counts.”
The win extended the Jays’ undefeated streak to 13 games and improved their all-time record against Ursinus to 23-0-2.
It also propelled the Jays into the top two in the Centennial Conference standings heading into the last games of the regular season.
The sophomore explained how the Jays would attack their Conference matchup.
“We’re treating every game from now on as if it could be our last,” she said. “We’re focusing on playing for each other and finding the fun in every practice and game.”
Hopkins will host Franklin and Marshall College this Saturday, Nov. 2. They look to close out their Centennial Conference schedule with a win and a chance to host the Conference playoffs.