Coming into this weekend in need of a win, after the Kwik Goal Tournament, the Elizabethtown College men’s soccer team was in for a tough schedule. The Blue Jays (1-2-1) were to play three nationally ranked soccer teams within five days.
Sophomore defensive midfielder, Phil Spector said, “All the games are equally important for our team. Saturday is our main focus.”
Etown played the Denison Big Red (3-0-1) on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.in the Blue Jay Classic. The game was originally scheduled for a 4 p.m. start, but due to the bad weather, it was pushed forward to avoid cancellation. The Blue Jays were looking for a win for their first official home game of the season. Spector stated, “We practiced a lot of formations, offensively and defensively more as a team this week. Also, fitness was a focus as we prepared for the game. We want to be able to stay with the team until the final whistle.”
In the first half, the Blue Jays were able pull out to a 1-0 lead by a goal from junior Zach Lee. Lee had a header off an assist from senior Adriano Maneo, who is a standout midfielder for the Blue Jays.
In the 40th minute, Denison’s Ryan Torgersen scored to tie up the game 1-1, after a free kick at midfield. Later in the second half, Denison’s Blake Miller pulled his Big Red team ahead with a goal by a cross from Collin Hockenberry. Unfortunately, the Blue Jays were not able to respond to the goal and the Denison Big Red secured their lead with a third goal by JJ Dix in the 79th minute.
On Sunday at 4 p.m., Etown had to fight back, after their game against the Big Red for their battle against Johns Hopkins University (1-2). Johns Hopkins recently won against Kean University on Saturday in the Blue Jay Classic 2-0. Luis Devia, a junior forward, expected a hard fought battle between the two teams. “We are prepared mentally and physically for this game,” he said.
With over 200 people in attendance, Etown and Johns Hopkins played an intense game back and forth. After final regulation, the score was still tied 0-0. The game went into two overtimes and in the end, the Blue Jays were able to pull out their first official home win of the season. Johns Hopkins had many opportunities to score, with their 17 shots and 13 corner kicks. Their star player, Nick White was only able to get two shots on goal in the 51 minutes he played. Unfortunately, they were not to put the ball in the back of the net. On the other hand, Etown was able to score with a goal from sophomore forward Zach Hollinger. In the 101st minute of the game, junior defensive player Kyle Volk threw in the ball. With a flick from sophomore midfielder Eric Borkowicz, Hollinger, who was in front of the net, tapped the ball in for the win. That was Hollinger’s second goal for the season.
Although the team played very well together as a whole, another key player in for Etown was first-year goalie Rodrigo Barrera. Barrera played the whole game for the Blue Jays and had eight saves.
Spector said, “It was a great team effort and a fantastic win to set us up for the rest of the season.”
The men were now set to prepare for their game against the undefeated Franklin and Marshall Diplomats. The Blue Jays previously lost to Franklin and Marshall last season 2-0 and intend to redeem themselves.