By Michael Battista
Any sport can have an incredible finish, whether it be that walk off home run in baseball, that hail mary touchdown in football or that buzzer beater shot in basketball to seal the win. But for every one of those, there is a team that comes up on the short end, just as the Lions did when they tied Johns Hopkins, 2-2, on Saturday, Sept. 10.
Junior defender Abigail Emmert said the team needed to be able to adapt if they wanted to play well against Johns Hopkins, who went 14-5-1 last season.
“I think the biggest challenge we will face… is implementing strategies and plays that we have been working on in practice, as well as adapting to (Johns Hopkins’s) formation,” Emmert said. “Our entire team, from starters to subs, knows what we need to accomplish today and what it will take to do so. We can’t let small errors get get in the way of what we need to accomplish.”
Two minutes into the contest, the Lions seemed not only to adapt to the Blue Jays, but found an opening when Emmert headed in a goal off a corner from junior midfielder Jessica Goldman, putting the team up, 1-0.
Emmert credits the powerful playing by her teammates for the goal.
“I think our team just came out with an intensity that helped us set the pace and when we got the corner, we knew exactly what to do,” Emmert said. “Because we came out so strong and intense, we were able to make that first goal happen.”
After that, Johns Hopkins began a series of counter attacks with multiple attempts against senior goalkeeper Jessica Weeder. As with the Lions goal, a corner kick in the 15th minute set up a header goal for the Blue Jays, which tied the game 1-1.
Both teams matched one another during the first half, with both the Lions and Blue Jays taking five shots each. The Lions were overzealous at times, as they went offsides four times in the first 45 minutes — and eight times in the entire game, compared to Johns Hopkins’s one.
The first half came to a close with both teams still locked up, but during the second half the Lions came out just as strong as they did during the first.
Since they outshot the Blue Jays 5-0 during the first 15 minutes, the Lions were able to nail in a goal off the cleats of senior forward Christine Levering at 55:54, off an assist from junior midfielder Elizabeth Thoreson, putting the Lions up, 2-1.
The team continued to dominate until a lightning strike delayed the game for an hour and a half.
The long break between play gave the Blue Jays time to regroup. After play resumed, they took the helm as the dominant force.
Johns Hopkins outshot the College 4-1 after the break, and one of those slipped by Weeder with four seconds left in regulation to tie the game up at 2-2.
Neither team could come out on top in overtime, with the Lions unable to take a single shot during either extra period, leaving both at a draw.
With its record at 1-0-1, the College will now prepare for Wednesday, Sept. 14, when the team takes on Ursinus College at home for the first time this season.
Emmert says the team is ready for any challenge the season throws at them.
“We have a fairly young team,” Emmert said. “It important for our team to remember that every game is going to be different and every team plays differently, so what we did in one game won’t necessarily work in the next.”