September 20, 2012
On the heels of two solid showings at the Navy Labor Day Open and Princeton Invitational to begin the year, Hopkins water polo cruised through five opponents in another Navy Invitational this past weekend. The Blue Jays entered the weekend with a 6-2 record, but promptly swept through the Annapolis, Md.-based tournament by outscoring their competitors 91-31. They then defeated George Washington University, 19-11, on Wednesday night at home to improve to 12-2 on the year. The Jays finished the previous weekend at Princeton with a tough 13-11 defeat at the hands of MIT, and came out full-throttle in the first game of the weekend against Washington and Jefferson College to regain some momentum. Led by sophomore Wes Hopkins who scored three goals and added a career-high six assists, the Jays dominated the Presidents, 22-6. For Hopkins, a 6-foot-2, 200-pounder from Silver Spring, Pa., it was the start of a career afternoon in which he scored 11 times and dished eight assists. Also adding goals in the game were freshman Blake Range, and seniors Kielan Crow and Ross Schofield. Schofield took the reigns in game two against Northern Virginia. Behind his four goals, the Jays dodged University of Northern Virginia, 18-12, the closest contest of the weekend. Hopkins also saw six other players notch two scores each, and received solid goal play from freshman Erik Henrikson who has been splitting time with last year’s starter, sophomore Danny Ovelar. Henrikson had seven saves and one steal in the game. To complete the first day of action, Hopkins then tackled Notre Dame of Ohio in a showdown of unfamiliar foes. However, unlike the rest of the tournament, the Blue Jays had a distinct advantage in their 20-6 romp — they played in their home pool. The Jays gained an early lead and ran to a 17-1 lead at the half. Sophomore Hopkins was at the forefront of the offense’s efforts, scoring a career-best six goals, just one off the all-time single-game mark for the program. Schofield also impressed with four goals and four assists, and the Jays used four goalkeepers: Ovelar, Henrikson, and sophomores Jacob Dorn and Scott Weigel. The Blue Jays’ dominance continued on Sunday when the team defeated Fordham University, 13-3, and Connecticut College, 18-4, to give them five straight wins. Against Fordham, the Jays were led by senior Alex Whittam, freshman Kevin Lee, and sophomore Johnny Beal. Whittam and Lee scored hat tricks apiece while Beal added four assists and a goal of his own. Beal and Whittam were back it again later that afternoon against Connecticut College, scoring a hat trick and recording five steals, respectively. Crow and Range also added hat tricks. On Wednesday, Hopkins’ winning ways continued against the Colonials of George Washington led again by Schofield. The Jays’ unique blend of upperclassmen and rookies has them sitting pretty as they head into league play. With just three home games remaining on the schedule, Hopkins will play two of them this Sunday against Bucknell and Princeton. Game times are slated for 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.