By TARIQ OMER
The Hopkins field hockey team lost to the Gettysburg College Bullets at home on Saturday, Oct. 31. In Centennial Conference play, the Bullets proved too much for the Lady Jays, winning the game with a late penalty stroke and a final score of 5-4.
With this, the final game of the season, the Lady Jays finish 2015 with an overall record of 7-9 and a Centennial Conference record of 4-5.
Senior defender Kiana Duncan reflected on the team’s mentality during the game.
“Everyone was very calm throughout the entire game,” Duncan said. “It seemed like even when we were losing we were confident that we would get the goals back. The energy was really good overall throughout the game.”
The game began in favor of the Lady Jays, with Hopkins jumping out to an early two goal lead over Gettysburg. Senior midfielder Leslie MacManus and sophomore midfielder Morgan Pothast provided the Lady Jays with the advantage, scoring back-to-back goals 42 seconds apart.
MacManus’s goal came 1:41 into the game off the rebound of junior midfielder Victoria Piscopo’s shot.
Less than a minute later, Hopkins’ advantage was doubled with Piscopo again acting as the facilitator, feeding a pass that Pothast was able to glide the ball past the Bullets’ goalie, sophomore Haley Mowery.
That two-goal cushion quickly eroded, however, as Gettysburg scored two unanswered goals to level the game with 25:38 remaining in the first half. Bullets junior forward Hannah Fitzgerald successfully dribbled up the field and fired off a ground shot just inside the circle to beat sophomore goalie Greta Helvie and put Gettysburg on the score sheet for the first time on the night.
Following that, it was the Bullets’ turn to capitalize on a rebound: Helvie made a great save on senior midfielder Alex Calder, but was unable to stop junior midfielder Tori Sankey from putting in the rebound, tying the game at two apiece.
At the 23:47 mark, the visitors got their first lead of the game: Sophomore midfielder Clare Nolan hooked onto a pass from Sankey and nestled the ball in the bottom left corner of the goal past Helvie to give Gettysburg the edge going into halftime.
Early in the second half, the game was again brought to a two-goal margin, this time in favor of Gettysburg. Just 1:57 into the second half, sophomore forward Lindsay Kraus converted a penalty stroke, giving Gettysburg a 4-2 lead.
The Jays then staged their own comeback, scoring two goals to tie the game at 4-4. Junior forward Austin Davis started the comeback with her first goal of the game.
She picked the ball up in midfield and struck the ball from 10 yards out to beat Mowery for the third time that night. Duncan knew just how important that goal would be.
“Scoring after we went down 4-2 was awesome,” Duncan said. “Just knowing that the team still was working so hard to score when we were down two goals was really encouraging, and I think it says a lot about the team as a whole.”
Junior forward Bridget Hampton then tied the game up with 11:23 left to play in the match.
Sophomore forward Princess Sutherland freely made her way down the field and sent a ripping pass across the opponent’s circle. Hampton was alert and locked onto the ball before anyone else, swatting the ball out of the air with a one-time shot that buried in the far corner of the goal superbly.
Despite Hopkins’ comeback, however, it was Gettysburg who would have the final say. With only 10 seconds remaining, Gettysburg won a penalty. Fitzgerald stroked the ball home, past Helvie, for her second of the game. This goal proved to be the vital one, winning the match for Gettysburg in the dying embers of the game.
With this result, Hopkins now has an all-time 19-18-1 record against Gettysburg, a tight match-up over the course of history. Helvie finished the game with four saves for the Lady Jays, and sophomore midfielder Francesca Cali made a defensive save of her own.
Mowery finished with 17 saves in the Bullets’ goal. Despite outshooting the Bullets 25-20 and having a 19-5 corner advantage, the Jays finish their season with a home defeat and an overall record of 7-9.
“It was a tough season,” Duncan said. “We had a lot of games where we left with the feeling that we could’ve done better, which definitely isn’t how you want to leave the field. We had a four- or five-game losing streak in the middle of the season that really hurt our confidence. I think the team has a lot of potential moving into next year, though, with a lot of leaders looking to push the team to improve.”