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In heartbreaking loss, women’s soccer finds positives

6 mins read
Hannah Deming and the women’s soccer team are confident that if they maintain the level of play they showed against Johns Hopkins, they will be tough to beat. (Justin Toran-Burrell/The Phoenix)
Hannah Deming and the women’s soccer team are confident that if they maintain the level of play they showed against Johns Hopkins, they will be tough to beat. (Justin Toran-Burrell/The Phoenix)

The Swarthmore women’s soccer team fell to undefeated Johns Hopkins in gut-wrenching fashion on Saturday evening, allowing the winning goal in the 88th minute on the way to a 3-2 loss. With the loss, the Garnet fell to 6-4 on the year and 2-2 in Conference play. The Johns Hopkins Blue Jays improve to 9-0 and 3-0, respectively.

As the game’s final minutes ticked away, it appeared that the equalizer off a free kick from Amber Famiglietti ’14 in the game’s 81st minute would send the Garnet’s bid for an upset into overtime. Seven minutes later, Hopkins defender Jessica Hnatiurk put her team into the lead with a well-struck header off a corner that found its way past Swarthmore’s goalkeeper Marie Mutryn ’12. The goal all but ensured that the Blue Jays would leave Clothier Field with its undefeated season intact, and that the Garnet would drop its second straight conference match.

The intensely competitive match opened with twenty-three scoreless minutes of back-and-forth defensive play. Johns Hopkins failed to convert five shots on goal until Hopkins forward Hannah Kronick rebounded Paulina Goodman’s shot off the post and sent it into the right corner.

Kronick’s goal gave her team a lead that it would hold for all of twelve seconds, as first-year forward Emma Sindelar ’15 tied it up off an assist from Megan Brock ’14, barely giving the scoreboard a chance to catch up.

Just three minutes later, Hopkins midfielder Erica Suter put the Blue Jays up 2-1 with an unassisted goal from the right corner of the box. The goal gave the Blue Jays a lead it would take into halftime.

In the second half, the 2-1 score held despite a strong offensive push by the Garnet, which just missed scoring the tying goal three times in a three-minute span. Sindelar was denied a goal on an impressive save from senior goalkeeper Kristen Redsun, and Brock sent one shot high, then another wide in the 69th minute.

Finally, in the match’s final ten minutes, Famiglietti’s goal evened up the score, and for seven minutes the Garnet was going to take the Blue Jays and their undefeated record into overtime.

Then came Hniaturk’s header.

In the game, Redsun saved three of the five shots taken on goal. Mutryn was also tested five times, making two saves. Brock led the Garnet in shots, taking five of the team’s twelve, while Hopkins took a total of twenty shots.

The Blue Jays’ three goals were the second-most Mutryn has allowed this season after a 4-0 loss to Messiah in the Messiah Classic on September 3.

Though disappointed with the outcome, the Garnet players have found positives in the level of competition they displayed against a top-tier opponent.

“We are upset with the loss, but not with our efforts,” Brock said. “If we continue to strive to play our best soccer, we will be tough to beat. The Hopkins game showed that, and although we didn’t come away with a win, we were proud of the way we played.”

Though ultimately falling short, Swarthmore gave Johns Hopkins one of its toughest matches in years. Against the elite Blue Jay defense, Swarthmore’s two goals were just one fewer than Hopkins had allowed cumulatively in the first eight matches in the season.

“I’ve seen Hopkins play a bunch of times over the last several years,” head coach Todd Anckaitis said. “And there have only been two teams that have given Hopkins that good of a game from start to end — TCNJ & Messiah last year. [Hopkins has] had one game where the score has been close but nobody has even been close to playing them that tough this year.”

“Our outlook for the rest of the season is extremely positive,” midfielder Alyssa Bowie ’12 said in an email. “If we can compete at a similar level against all our remaining conference opponents, we should find a lot of success.

“Getting better is just a matter of tightening up the little things, both tactically and technically, and never settling for ‘just okay’ when what we’re really striving for is excellence.”

On Wednesday, the Garnet rebounded from the loss with a 2-1 defeat of Washington College. The Garnet next travels to Gettysburg on Sunday for their sixth Conference match of the season.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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