By LUCAS BEDNAREK
For The News-Letter
Junior Bridget Hampton put the Blue Jays up with an early goal on Friday, but Haverford College struck back and defeated Hopkins, 3-1.
With this loss, Blue Jay Field hockey extended their losing streak to three games, tying with the team’s longest so far this season. The team has, by their own admission, exhibited several notable aspects of their gameplay that could be improved over this stretch, but they continue to work on these areas as they remain confident heading into the ending of the season.
Of course, scoring is an issue that the team will need to address. Hampton’s Friday goal is the only score that the team has produced throughout their current losing streak, and the team’s average of 2.2 goals per game is second-to-last in the Centennial Conference. In their practices, however, the team has ideas of how these struggles can be mitigated.
“At practice today we really focused on a ton of shooting. Whether the shot is perfect or not, we need to hit the ball into the circle more,” junior midfielder Victoria Piscopo said. “We are really working on capitalizing on our offensive opportunities. Although we generated a lot of offense, we need to score more.”
Piscopo offered more insights into what the offense can do on the field to improve.
“Personally, I wanted to remain mindful of attacking through the center of the field, whether that be a pass inward or dribbling on an angle to open up options,” Piscopo said.
The Hopkins team will also be looking to improve some defensive areas as well. After Hampton’s goal gave Hopkins an early lead, Haverford was able to score three times on the Blue Jay defense to secure a win.
“I’m sure we’ll work a lot more on defense this week like we have been, including one-on-one situations and defensive footwork,” Piscopo said. “We’ve been focusing on tackling outside the circle to avoid defensive corners as well.”
However, there are some aspects of the team’s recent performances that they can look forward to for the remainder of the season, such as the team’s tenacity through both full halves on their contests.
“The team’s composure was amazing on Saturday,” Piscopo said. “We stuck to our game plan and style despite the competition.”
The team has been playing well together and has also been assisted by some impressive individual performances this season on the offensive end, including junior Bridget Hampton’s.
“Bridget is always a lot of fun to watch,” Piscopo said. “Her energy on the field is awesome, and I was beyond excited when she scored off of a reverse shot.”
Also in the loss to Haverford, senior Kiana Duncan was able to lead the team with five shots.
“I thought Kiana had a great game,” Piscopo said. “Her communication and direction was really helpful for everyone around her. I found myself cheering for her a lot while I was on the field.”
Overall, this team feels that they have the talent and communication that is necessary to still be a contender this late in the season.
“We’re really been trying to take away the positives from our past three losses,” Piscopo said. “Although the score hasn’t gone our way, I thought we’ve played some really great hockey recently.”
After Friday’s loss, the team has fallen to 2-4 in the Centennial Conference standings, with only four games remaining in the season. The team will most likely have to be on top of its game from here on out to clinch a playoff berth within the conference.
This certainly appears dire for the Blue Jay season, but the team maintains composure and looks ahead with confidence, aware that with the team this dynamic and effective, hard work has potential to propel Hopkins into the postseason.
They will have another chance to start turning around their season this Wednesday at Homewood Field against their in-Conference rival, Dickinson College Red Devils, under the lights.
“We need to win the rest of our games to make the conference tournament,” Piscopo said. “Our team is more than capable of doing so and it is completely in our hands.”