By Maegan White
Elm Staff Writer
The Shoremen soccer team ended their season on Nov. 4 in a 1-0 loss against Johns Hopkins University Blue Jays, ending their journey to win back-to-back Centennial Conference titles.
Since the Shoremen finished the regular season ranked second in the Centennial Conference, they won an automatic qualifier to the semi-final game. The number three ranked Blue Jays had to play a quarter final matchup against Dickenson to advance to the semifinal. They won 5-4 in a penalty kick shootout.
On Friday Nov. 4 at 7 PM, the Shoremen hosted the Blue Jays at the Roy Kirby Jr. Stadium for the Centennial Conference Tournament semi-finals. The Blue Jays kept the Shoremen defense busy for a majority of the game having more possession and shots on goals compared to the Shoremen. The Shoremen outshot their competitors 15-3.
Less than two minutes into the game, the Blue Jays had their first opportunity to score with a 10 yard shot that was saved by junior goalkeeper Anthony Pinto. This was the first of five saves for the Shoremen keeper.
The Blue Jays would keep possession of the ball for the majority of the half. They took another shot on goal in minute 10 that was also saved by Pinto. The Blue Jays then took three consecutive corners off, none of which were successful.
In minute 18, the Shoremen had their best opportunity to score when senior defender Alex Coster headed a crossed ball. The Blue Jay goalkeeper was able to save it by deflecting the shot over the cross bar. The Shoremen were not able to capitalize on the corner kick that followed.
The last shot of the half occurred in minute 44 by the Blue Jays but Pinto was able to save it. The half ended scoreless.
In the second half, the Blue Jays took six shots before the Shoremen took their first. Of the Blue Jays’ six shots, two were saved by Pinto, one was cleared by defense, two were wide, and one scored.
With only 15 minutes left in the game, a Shoremen defender fouled the Blue Jays and they were awarded a penalty kick. The Blue Jays were able to score the penalty kick, earning the one and only goal of the game.
In minute 82, the Blue Jays had an opportunity to extend their lead when Pinto left the line to try and save a shot. The shot would have made its way to the back of the net had it not been for freshman defender Ryan Sharpley who covered for Pinto and cleared the ball.
The Shoreman had their last opportunity to score in minute 85 when senior midfielder Harrison Malone broke away from the Blue Jay defense and took a shot. The shot went wide and high. This was the last shot of the game and the Shoremen lost 1-0.
After the game Coach Roy Dunshee commended his team for their season and their hard fought game on Friday.
“We did all we could to deliver some joy to our fans and we are immensely proud of the effort our boys showed all season,” Dunshee said. “Our team played with heart and passion and commitment. They gave everything. That is all we can ask. In return, they get the satisfaction of knowing they dared greatly in a high-risk game and played with courage and confidence.”
The Shoremen finished their season with an overall record of 7-5-6 and a conference record of 5-2-3.
John Hopkins advanced to play Muhlenberg College in the conference finals on Sunday in Baltimore. Muhlenberg won the Centennial Conference Championships in a 5-4 penalty shootout. Muhlenberg received an automatic bid to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s tournament. It is expected that John Hopkins will receive an at-large bid for the NCAA tournament as well.
Photo by Grace Hazlehurst
Photo Caption: Senior midfielder Jackson Sopa cutting through Johns Hopkins’ defense in the playoffs.