By LUKE BEDNAREK
For The News-Letter
In a defense-dominated matchup, the Hopkins field hockey team was edged by Muhlenberg College, 1-0 on Saturday at home in Baltimore. Despite not coming away from the match with a victory, the Blue Jays remain confident in the team’s abilities and look forward to their future games.
“I thought this past Saturday’s loss was not a true depiction of our team’s capabilities. We had an off day, which is inexcusable, but we’ll use this loss as an opportunity to learn from.
I believe we were our biggest competitor on Saturday, and in order to fix this we need to focus on us and our skills,” junior Victoria Piscopo said.
Piscopo believes that the team is talented and well-coordinated, which provides them a solid base to build from, even after this close loss. If this is true, the Blue Jays defense is one of the main reasons to remain optimistic for the team thus far into the season.
“I have complete confidence and trust in our backfield,” Piscopo said.
Of course, the defense only allowing one goal certainly exhibits effectiveness. They accomplished this on Saturday with the help of several prominent performances.
One of these standout performances was by junior Shannon Cosgrove, who recorded a defensive save in the game.
“Shannon’s defensive save kept us that much more in the game,” Piscopo said.
Another notable defensive performance on Saturday came from sophomore goalkeeper Greta Helvie, who only allowed one goal from Muhlenberg.
This seems to be a continuation of a season of effective play from the goalie.
“Greta has been playing amazing this season. Her communication and athleticism in the cage is the anchor of our defense,” Piscopo said.
These two performances, along with those of other teammates, helped create a formidable defense that kept Muhlenberg within striking distance throughout the entire game.
On the other side of the scoreboard, however, the Blue Jays needed to score more points. Granted, they faced an outstanding five-save performance by Muhlenberg goalkeeper Emma Rosenthal, who was awarded Centennial Conference field hockey athlete of the week honors for the effort. And indeed, there is certainly the groundwork for the Blue Jay offense to become more productive.
In Saturday’s game, the Blue Jays amassed seven shots, two from senior Kiana Duncan.
“Kiana really generated a lot of attacking opportunities. It’s just a matter of capitalizing on these opportunities,” Piscopo said.
Indeed, if the Blue Jays are able to convert more of these shots into goals, their offense should easily begin seeing some much-needed productivity. Of the 11 field hockey teams in the Centennial Conference, Hopkins averages only the 10th-most goals per game.
However, they have the groundwork for a successful offense. They had more shots than Muhlenberg in Saturday’s game. With a few tweaks and a bit of work, this team can begin to score more.
Looking toward the team’s next matchup, visiting Richard Stockton College on Oct. 1, the team hopes to identify and ameliorate their improving areas.
“Our team will be watching film on this past Saturday’s game and will evaluate our performance individually and as a team. From there, it will be easier to see what needs to be fixed and worked on in upcoming practices to best prepare for our next competition. The loss this Saturday is in the past, and although we can learn from it, we need to move forward,” Piscopo said.
While continuing the season and taking in each individual game, the team can also look ahead, hopefully to the playoffs.
The team’s conference record of 1-1 puts them in a four-way tie for fifth place in the conference. However, the team believes they have the potential to break out of this deadlock and continue winning this season.
“I think the chances we make playoffs are really high,” Piscopo said. “After three years at Hopkins, I truly believe this is the strongest, most disciplined team I’ve been a part of. We have all the resources to be successful, but its in our hands to capitalize on these opportunities.”