Hopkins men’s soccer captured the regular-season Centennial Conference crown and the number-one seed in the Centennial Conference tournament with their 2-0 win over the Muhlenberg College Mules on Saturday. Their win marks the fifth straight win against the Mules.
Hopkins scored first with a penalty kick by senior midfielder Liam Creedon following a foul on freshman midfielder Ian Whamond in the 30th minute. Graduate student goalie Xander LeFevre made a stunning save on a Muhlenberg header in the 56th minute to prevent the Mules from equalizing the affair.
LeFevre had a pair of saves in the game to shutout Muhlenberg. The game was put away three minutes later by sophomore forward Aidan Dunphy, with a well-placed shot from 16 yards out. The goal was Dunphy's sixth of the season, leading all players on the team. The Blue Jays were in control for the entire game, notching 13 shots on goal compared to Muhlenberg’s two.
Safe to say, the team was humbly happy with its impressive offensive performance. When asked in an interview with The News-Letter about his penalty kick goal that started Hopkins on the right track, Creedon praised Whamond.
“Whamond had done really well to draw the penalty, taking a quick throw and beating his man to get fouled,” Creedon said. “I think the goal was coming for us either way considering how the game had been going. I’ve taken a good number of [penalty kicks] in my career at Hopkins so far so it was not new territory for me, and I was able to put enough pace on the ball to beat the keeper.”
Dunphy was similarly deferential and had high praise for his teammates for helping him with his big goal.
“Being able to get on the scoresheet in front of our fans is a great feeling, but I couldn’t have done it without the other 10 guys on the field,” he said. “Ben Sollinger playmaking and Whamond’s positioning led to my goal to seal the game away.”
On the defensive side of the ball, LeFevre had nothing but great things to say about the team’s strong effort.
“I have a hard time talking about my performance and saves without mentioning the defensive performance of my back line and the team in general. For every save I make, there are three or four other chances my defense handles, which is why every clean sheet we get is shared and celebrated by everyone,” he said. “There’s so much trust and communication between myself and the guys in front of me that we have a great understanding of our defensive roles and how to complement each other.”
After a commanding performance, Hopkins looks to finish the regular season strong against the Franklin & Marshall College Diplomats on Oct. 30 in Lancaster, Pa.
LeFevre spoke about the upcoming game.
“This season and historically F&M have been very strong, so we’re fully focused on the game ahead — they’re going to be a really good test,” LeFevre said. “We have a chance to do something very special this year in winning the regular season with a game in hand, as well as winning the Conference tournament in two weekends, so every game from here on is crucial.”