Women’s field hockey faced off against Shenandoah University, Bridgewater College and the University of Lynchburg in their first three games of the season. It had been over 600 days since Hopkins played a field hockey game, but there was no sign of rust from the team as they won all three games last week. Junior defender Anna Scott scored or assisted in all games, propelling Hopkins to 4-1, 6-0 and 2-1 victories.
Shenandoah scored first in game one off a penalty just six minutes into the game. Hopkins answered quickly, as senior midfielder Abby Birk found Scott for her first career goal. Both teams remained in a deadlock for the rest of the half.
In the third quarter, Hopkins would seize the lead and never look back. Off a corner penalty, junior forward Siena Urbanksi found senior forward Maddie Brown-Scherer, who made a beautiful behind-the-back pass to Birk. Birk netted a shot in the far post to give Hopkins a 2-1 lead with 10:25 left in the third.
Just seven minutes later, Hopkins extended their lead. Sophomore midfielder Gen Mehra rebounded a shot by junior defender Olivia Fox for her first career goal. Urbanski capped off the night with a backhanded goal with 9:50 left in the game. This was the Blue Jays’ first time facing Shenandoah. Their original season opener against Washington and Lee University was postponed until a later date.
In game two against Bridgewater, junior forward Tessa Erickson scored first for Hopkins with two minutes remaining in the first period. Thirty seconds into the second quarter — yes, 30 — Fox found Scott for her second goal of the season. Sophomore forward Maura Minter extended the lead to three halfway through the second period.
After two more Hopkins goals in the third quarter, freshman midfielder Jenna Halpin concluded the impressive scoring performance with a deflection goal in front of the Bridgewater cage to give Hopkins a 6-0 victory. Six different players scored in the Blue Jays’ win against Bridgewater on Saturday in what has been their most impressive victory of this young season.
Game three was a come-from-behind victory for Hopkins. After a scoreless first half for both teams, Lynchburg broke through halfway through the third quarter as Lynchburg forward Brittany Claybaugh found forward Meghan Mayo. Hopkins, once again, responded very quickly — 35 seconds later, to be exact — as Urbanksi intercepted a Lynchburg pass and scored from eight yards out to even the game at 1-1.
Hopkins later took the lead as time expired in the third period off a penalty corner when Mehra got an open look at the Lynchburg cage. With this victory, Hopkins has now won the last three meetings against Lynchburg and leads the all-time series 3-2.
Hopkins has high expectations entering this season, and they are not afraid of the spotlight. They enter this season as the favorites to repeat as Centennial Conference champions and are ranked third in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Preseason Poll. NFHCA All-South seniors Birk and Brown-Scherer headline the six starters returning from the 2019 championship squad. The team looks poised to make another championship run and go even further this season. Hopkins is aiming to win their first national title in program history.