Jays Shutout Haverford 2-0, Win 9th CC Tournament Title
BALTIMORE, MD – Juniors Hannah Kronick and Sydney Teng both scored first half goals, as Hopkins went on to beat Haverford 2-0 Saturday evening to win the 2013 Centennial Conference Title. The Blue Jays only allowed the Fords six shots in the match as Senior Kelly Baker made five saves to earn the shutout. The victory marks the ninth Centennial Championship for Hopkins and 11th overall conference championship in program history.
The two squads played tight early on, with both Haverford and Hopkins challenging with shots in the opening minutes. The Blue Jays had a nice chance in the 13th minute when senior Kelly Baker ripped a shot from the right side that Haverford's Michelle Babicz deflected away from the open net. It wasn't until the 26th minute that Teng connected on the eventual game-winning goal off a rebound played by Baker.
In the closing minute of the first half, Hopkins created a pressure situation again, this time off a cross from sophomore Hope Lundberg. Teng put her head on the ball among a group of defenders in the box, which played in front of Kronick on the left side. The Westfield, NJ native ripped a left-footed shot over the outstretched keeper's head to put JHU up 2-0 before half.
Both teams threatened with opportunities in the second half, and Teng almost had her second goal of the game in the 75th minute. The Fairport, NY native powered an open shot from inside the 18, which hit the right post and was cleared by a Haverford defender.
Haverford's best chance came in the 67th minute, when senior Sophie Eiger found an opening on the left side. Her initial shot was blocked, but one-timed the rebound low to the left side. Leddy made the diving save to thwart the attempt, and the Hopkins defense limited the Fords to zero shots for the remainder of the match.
Johns Hopkins finished as the only team to score in regulation in this year's tournament, totaling 10 goals in two matches over the weekend. The Jays shutout Muhlenberg 8-0 in the semifinals, while Haverford and Gettysburg played to a draw (Haverford advanced on penalty kicks) in the second game Friday evening.
Senior forward Kelly Baker was named the 2013 Centennial Conference Tournament MVP after finishing with three goals and two assists this weekend. The Ridgefield, CT put on a spectacular performance against Muhlenberg, tallying her first career hat trick and an assist in the 8-0 victory.
"[Muhlenberg] started out pressuring us really high, but as soon as our defense got control of the ball everyone started working really hard, said Baker "We just had a lot of opportunities and it was a whole team effort. [My teammates] just kept feeding me good balls and I just had to turn and shoot. As a team, we really stepped it up"
Her first goal against the Mules was the eventual game-winner and her assist in tonight's match made way for Teng's game-winning goal. After losing in last year's Centennial final 2-1 to Haverford, the Jays kept the trophy in Baltimore this season and finished undefeated (11-0-1) against Centennial opponents.
"It was a great way to end Centennial Conference play this year," Baker explained. "We're looking forward to being able to host not only the first and second rounds of the NCAA [Tournament] but regionals as well. This was just a huge step in the right direction."
As the Centennial Conference Champion, Hopkins has earned an automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Division III tournament. The Jays will now await the results of the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Selection Show at 1:30 pm Monday afternoon. Stay tuned to HopkinsSports.com and @HopkinsSports for details surrounding next weekend's schedule.