The Hopkinton Girls Varsity Soccer team is off to a blistering 7-0 start, leaving no doubt that they are one of the best – if not the best – prep teams in the state.
After three games on the road, they return home tomorrow night to face 2-1-2 Algonquin, who are arguably much better than their record. Last year the Titans narrowly edged the Hillers 2-1 in a sloppy game that was decided by a questionable penalty kick given as the clock wound down. Tomorrow night Hopkinton looks to exact revenge for the defeat.
The recent road trip put the Hiller girls to the test, with matches against Holliston, Westwood and Dover-Sherborn. The Holliston game was never in doubt as the Hillers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead behind a tap-in goal from Junior Mairin O’Connor and a long-distance strike from Senior forward and Boston College commit Georgie Clarke. Hopkinton would go on to win 4-1.
Westwood sought to end the Hiller’s win streak but struggled to control the ball. Hopkinton had a 20-minute possession advantage over the Wolverines, completing 373 successful passes to Westwood’s 144. Junior midfielder Madison Recupero, who earlier in the year committed to play for Princeton, led the Hillers with two goals, one coming with 3:00 remaining, to cap a 3-1 victory.
If any team could beat Hopkinton it was the Dover-Sherborn Raiders. Head coach Evren Gunduz, a former HMS teacher, knows the Hillers well and had studied the film. Both teams came in to the game undefeated, and the DS side was packed with supporters. Unlike previous opponents, DS applied tremendous pressure to the Hopkinton defensive line, which anchored by Senior Captain Juliana Grontzos, still has not allowed a goal from the run of play. The teams traded attacks through the first half and the outcome was very much in doubt, but Hopkinton eventually scored on a clever deflection from Recupero. Senior Jo DuPont then dispossessed a DS defender in the corner and crossed the ball in to Clarke, who scored her 40th career goal for the Hillers. A costly penalty call allowed DS back into the match, making the score 2-1. Another penalty kick call against the Hillers afforded the Raiders the opportunity to level the match but the DS striker failed to convert it. The final score was 4-1 and the girls remain unbeaten on the season, standing atop the Tri-Valley League and looking to make a deep run in the state tournament.
On Tuesday night the Hillers invite the community to support them in their match against Algonquin and to help them raise awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research. Baked goods and pizza will be available for sale with all proceeds going directly to Dana-Farber. Kickoff is September 26 at 6:30 PM at Hopkinton High School.
For those unable to make the game in person, HCAM & HopNews invite you to join the live broadcast below.