Postseason field hockey action was in full swing this past weekend as Hopkins hosted the Centennial Conference tournament. The No. 6 Blue Jays opened the weekend against the Gettysburg College Bullets on Friday evening.
Senior midfielder Katie McErlean put the Jays on the board with a backhanded shot assisted by junior midfielder Michaela Corvi in the first quarter. The offensive firestorm continued in the second quarter when the Jays tallied three more goals. Sophomore midfielder Abby Birk found senior forward Christina Glaser twice in under four minutes, resulting in two goals — a career high for Glaser.
Glaser credits her strong play to her preparation and focusing on fundamentals.
“I really tried to focus on the basics to help me stay in the moment and just go with the flow of the game. I was very purposeful about staying low in the goalmouth and keeping my eyes on the ball. I had actually worked on those things in practice the week prior, and I think focusing back on those basics is what helped everything click for me,” said Glaser.
McErlean helped pad the lead by firing in another goal before the quarter’s end. To further add to her assist total, Birk sent a long ball that found freshman forward Tessa Erickson who rifled in her first goal of the season during the third quarter. The Blue Jays seemed to have the game in a wrap by the fourth quarter, but the Bullets showed no intention of leaving Homewood Field without putting up a fight.
Gettysburg forward Lauren Beccaria netted in a goal just three minutes into the final period off an assist from midfielder Emma Betrando. Bertando then contributed a goal of her own thanks to a set up from Beccaria. The duo of Beccaria and Bertando would each add another goal in a praiseworthy effort, but the Jays persisted and held off the Bullets’ strong finish by a final score of 5-4.
The victory sent the Jays to the final of the Centennial Conference Championship, where they took on the No. 7 Franklin and Marshall College Diplomats.
The Jays showed no signs of slowing down between games. Corvi busted out for a goal just two minutes into the game. Able to keep her defender at bay with a shoulder, Corvi scored and helped set the tone for the Jays in what would become a tightly contested match.
After letting up one goal, the Diplomats displayed remarkable resilience on the defensive end. Goalie Christina Seery of the Diplomats made back-to back saves on attempts by sophomore forward Maddie Brown-Scherer, using everything she had to prevent Brown-Sherer from adding to the Hopkins score.
After multiple tries, the Jays’ offense finally found the inside of the net again in the last minute of the third quarter. McErlean capitalized off a penalty stroke, increasing the Hopkins lead to 2-0.
Franklin and Marshall forward Erin Coverdale put her team on track for a potential comeback by sweeping in a shot assisted by teammate Addie Peters in the fourth quarter, but despite their last-minute efforts, the Diplomats could not find the equalizer against the Jays’ tough defense.
The 2-1 victory gave Hopkins its second straight Centennial Conference Championship, its sixth in school history. Glaser reflected upon the victory in an interview with The News-Letter.
“Winning the Conference Championship my senior year is extremely gratifying. It’s something me and the other seniors have been working towards since we first got to Hopkins. The team as a whole has worked harder and harder every year, and seeing it pay off by winning the Conference Championship while also having an undefeated Conference record is an amazing feeling,” Glaser said.
Now the Jays are primed to play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division-III Tournament. Thanks to the undefeated Conference record and an overall record of 17-2, the Jays have earned a first round bye.
Glaser commented on how the team plans to keep moving forward in the tournament.
“A big part of keeping the momentum going into NCAAs is playing hard in practice. The more we challenge each other the days leading up to a game, the more prepared we are to perform the day of the game,” Glaser said. “Our team thrives in a high paced environment, so continuing to maintain that environment throughout the tournament is what will help us maintain that momentum.”
The Jays will take on the winner of Saturday’s Messiah College and Worcester State University matchup on Sunday at 11 a.m. on Homewood Field.