Third-ranked women’s field hockey faced off against 19th-ranked Ursinus College Bears in their Centennial Conference opener on Sept. 23. The Blue Jays entered the game 5-1.
It was a scoreless affair for the first quarter, but just four minutes into the second quarter, the Blue Jays struck gold when sophomore midfielder Megan Chang scored on a deflection after her first shot was saved by Bears’ goalie Adriana Palladinetti. It was the right place at the right time as Chang was able to bury the second attempt towards the left post to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead.
Both teams were scoreless for the remainder of the period until junior midfielder Ava Balacek scored on a one-timer to the near side for her first goal of the season. Both Balacek and Chang’s goals were assisted by junior defender Liz Falterer, who leads the team in points (10).
The Blue Jays would score again just minutes later when Balacek maneuvered past Bears defenders and centered the ball to senior midfielder Gen Mehra to give the Blue Jays a 3-0 victory.
The Blue Jays dominated this game from start to finish, outshooting Ursinus 22-2 while owning a 10-4 advantage in penalty corners
In an interview with the News-Letter, Chang shared how it felt to score her first goal of the season and how the team’s energy made a difference in the win.
“I was super excited to play and also score this past weekend because that game marked my one year since injury. I hadn’t even realized I had scored until all of my teammates started cheering and running up to me,” she said. “The team was especially fired up after that win as that was our first conference game. Despite the weather, everyone both on and off the field was super loud and positive and had overall such hype energy. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the season goes.”
The Blue Jays then traveled to Pennsylvania on Wednesday to face the Gettysburg College Bullets in their second Centennial Conference matchup of the season. The Blue Jays got the scoring started just one minute into the second quarter when Balacek found junior midfielder Jenna Halpin at the top of the circle who found forward Sydney DelBello for the score.
Late in the fourth quarter junior forward Emily Amsden scored an insurance goal. Alexis Loder, Phoebe Williams and Aubrey Kilgore shared time at goalie and combined for the shutout. Hopkins outshot Gettysburg 8-2 and had a 20-5 advantage in corners in what ended up a 2-0 victory.
Jane Wells earned her 100th coaching victory at Hopkins and the 250th win of her career. Falterer was named Centennial Conference Defensive Player of the Week, the first time in her career winning the award.
Falterer had a phenomenal week, holding fourth-ranked Messiah University Falcons to one goal and holding Ursinus and Gettysburg scoreless.
The Blue Jays return home to face Muhlenberg on Saturday at 6 p.m.