In a heated battle between Centennial Conference rivals, the Hopkins women’s soccer team played to their second straight draw, this time in a road outing against the Haverford College Fords.
The No. 5 Blue Jays found themselves at a disadvantage early on. Senior forward Maddy Rocks launched a couple of corner kicks in the opening minutes that failed to translate into a scoring opportunity.
Haverford capitalized on their first chance of the game when senior Leanne Ludwick fed a pass across the pitch to freshman Celia Page at the 11:36 mark. Page found herself in front of the Hopkins net from 10 yards out and sent a shot past the Blue Jays’ sophomore goalie Caitlin Hendricks to give the Fords an early advantage.
With Havferford threatening again, the Blue Jays would respond by tightening up their defense, with Rocks and senior midfielder Maggie Coulson blocking a pair of shots to keep the deficit to just one goal.
The Blue Jays had the chance to knot up the match near the midpoint of the half when senior midfielder Carly Lupton-Smith took a shot at the Haverford cage only to be denied by the Fords’ goalie Hannah Friedrich. Friedrich recorded her second save of the day when junior forward Riley O’Toole redirected a shot off of her head to keep her team ahead.
Neither team would have much more luck in trying to generate scoring chances for the remainder of the first half, with neither team able to get a shot on goal in the remaining minutes. This trend continued into the opening of the second half as well. Once again, Rocks opened the half with multiple corner kicks, but fouls on the Blue Jays prevented the black and blue from taking advantage.
It would be during the 68th minute that the Blue Jays would tie up the game on the back of sophomore forward Rachel Jackson. Jackson fired a shot at the Haverford cage that bounced off the post, but she recovered the ball off the rebound and sent it into the back of the net to tie up the match at one goal apiece.
While she was frustrated that the team couldn’t break the tie, Jackson said that, at the same time, she was proud of the way her team stepped up in the second half and feels that kind of effort could lead to big things this season.
“We didn’t get the result we wanted against Haverford, but we came out and played very well during the second half of the game,” Jackson said. “Everyone was proud of the way the second half went. I know that we can continue to bring that energy the rest of the season.”
Six minutes later, Jackson had the chance to reunite the ball with the mesh, but Friedrich stayed strong in net and keep the match tied. Three different Blue Jays attempted to give their squad the advantage as the clock continued to wind down, but all their shots sailed well above the net.
As the pressure continued to mount for both teams, they each would have chances in the closing minutes: Jackson’s fourth shot of the game was robbed by a foot save from Friedrich. Hendricks then produced a clutch save to send the match to overtime.
Haverford recorded the only shots on goal during the 20 minutes of extra time as the Blue Jays struggled to get a ball on net and past the Fords’ defensive unit.
The first chance came in the opening 10 off a corner kick from Ludwick that made its way into the Hopkins box and off the head of senior Kendra Griesman.
Haverford’s second chance also came off a corner kick, this time with sophomore Elle Ferreira sending a pass to classmate Karlie Pollock.
Hendricks came up big for the Blue Jays with saves on both Ford shots to keep the score even at 1-1, allowing the Jays to escape with a draw.
Hendricks finished the game with four saves, increasing her total to 31 on the year, and Jackson notched her fifth goal of the season, second only to senior midfielder Emily Maheras’s eight goals.
The draw sends the Blue Jays to 7-1-3 overall, including a 1-0-2 record in Centennial play, whereas the Fords now sit at 8-1-1 and 2-0-1.
Jackson remains confident in her team and thinks that everyone is excited to continue going through conference matches.
“I have a really positive outlook on our season going forward. I think the team has a lot of potential, and everyone’s excited,” Jackson said. “We tied our last two games, which was really frustrating, but I think everyone’s using that as motivation to come out harder in our next game.”
Hopkins will be in action at home this Saturday when they’ll welcome the Muhlenberg College Mules to Homewood Field for another Centennial Conference matchup.