For the second week in a row, the Athlete of the Week is a member from the women’s soccer team, but not without good reason. Even as a freshman, forward Katie Sullivan leads the team in goals and overall points.
At the time of publication, the Jays remain undefeated with a record of 9-0-1, with their most recent win coming from an overtime win over the McDaniel College Green Terror. Sullivan netted the game-winning goal in the 99th-minute, continuing both her own and the team’s streak of brilliancy.
The News-Letter had the opportunity to speak with the freshman phenom earlier this week.
The News-Letter: As a freshman, you currently lead the team in points. What do you think this says about how you've transitioned into the Hopkins program so quickly?
Katie Sullivan: I think this just shows how welcoming the team is. It is difficult joining a new team and adapting to a tougher game in college, but my teammates and coaches have been the greatest in helping me and all the other freshmen adjust. Everyone on the team encourages one another to take risks, and even if we fail, we all work together to get the ball back again. I am the type of player that likes the ball at my feet: I like to run at players, take them on one on one and go to the goal, and my teammates and coaches encourage me to do this even when I do make mistakes. Not only do we as a team encourage each other to play to our strengths, but we all encourage and challenge one another to work our hardest. The hardworking and encouraging environment on this team made it easy to transition into the Hopkins program so quickly.
N-L: Is the unbeaten streak something that's on the mind of the team heading into each game? If not, what's been the preparation and mindset for each game; does it depend on the matchup?
KS: Honestly, the unbeaten streak is something that we rarely talk about. Yes, we all know in the back of our heads that we are unbeaten this season; however, it’s still fairly early in the season and winning is just going to get harder. Our mindset before each game is that we know that every team we play is going to play their best game against us, so we must shut these teams down early. Something that our coach always used to say to us at the beginning of the season is “you have earned nothing,” and although we have had some pretty accomplished wins so far, we still haven’t earned any of the big goals we are going for, so we see every game as a step closer to achieving our big goals.
N-L: What has been your favorite moment of the season so far?
KS: One of my favorite moments of the season so far was beating Carnegie Mellon [University]. [They are] a good team and beating them definitely was a challenge. The first goal we scored was a really great team effort. Our center mid[fielder] switched the field to me on the left and I crossed it to our striker who scored our first goal. Our second goal was also a beauty. It was a free kick from outside the box, and one of our right forwards [Riley O’Toole] took it and scored a banger! She also is playing with a torn ACL, something that makes her goal all the more impressive! This game was a great moment for us as a team and one of my favorite moments because it showed that we could beat a very high-level team and that we could score some awesome team goals. The win required a whole team effort from everyone on and off the field, which made it all the much better.