2018 Johns Hopkins Field Hockey Season Preview Blue Jays aim for Centennial Conference Tournament title

Picked to finish seventh in the Centennial Conference last August, the Blue Jays made a surprising run to the regular season conference championship under first-year head coach Jane Wells. Hopkins went on to host the Centennial championship for the first time since 2000 and dropped a tough 2-1 decision to 13th-ranked Franklin & Marshall in the title game. The Blue Jays finished with a 14-5 record, doubling their win total from the previous season. It is safe to say that Hopkins won't be sneaking up on anyone this season.

"We’ve been really stressing prescanning and directive communication throughout preseason. Advances in both of those areas will be key to our success this fall, as will execution on attacking penalty corners. We will rely on our depth and fitness quite a bit, they’ll make such a big difference in games and have made practices so competitive throughout preseason" - Jane WElls
The Blue Jays celebrate after beating the 13th-ranked Franklin & Marshall, 2-1, to grab the top seed in the Centennial Conference Tournament.
"We have a great group of young attackers who have shown a ton of quickness and tenacity. They are learning to work together, which has been exciting to see throughout preseason. With support from our veteran midfielders, we anticipate them making strong contributions from the start of the season. So far, transfer Michaela Corvi and freshman Izzy Thompson have really stood out, they’ve been working well with senior Megan Ophel, who we’ve moved to the attack and sophomore Valerie Henderson, who earned a lot of minutes for us last year" - Jane Wells
"We return some key players in the midfield and on our defensive unit, which will be led by senior Grace Hillman and junior goalkeeper Jodie Baris. Sophie Kim returns to the right side with a ton of great experience. We will look for newcomers Sarah Matyas and Avery Seward to have an impact right away" - Jane Wells



Hillman was named the inaugural Centennial Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2017 as well as a First Team All-Centennial and Second Team All-America selection. She is the Blue Jays' first All-American since 2011.

• Hillman totaled four points (1g, 2a) and one defensive save while anchoring a defense that ranked second in the Centennial Conference in goals against average (1.08), shutouts (8) and save percentage (.828).


• In her first season as a starter, Baris earned Second Team NFHCA All-South Region and First Team All-Centennial Conference honors after posting a 0.94 goals against average and .843 save percentage with four shutouts.

• Baris led the Centennial Conference and ranked third in the nation in save percentage. She also ranked second in the conference and 15th in the nation in goals against average.


McErlean grabbed her second straight All-Centennial Conference honor. She ranked third on the team in goals (6) and fourth in points (13).

• A two-year starter, McErlean is the Blue Jays' active career leader in points (21), goals (8) and assists (5).

Johns Hopkins is picked to finish second in the Centennial Conference in 2018 in a vote of the conference's coaches. The Blue Jays earned four first-place votes and a total of 89 points to finish behind defending champion Franklin & Marshall. Hopkins went 9-1 and allowed just seven goals in league play before falling to the Diplomats in the Centennial Conference title game a year ago at Homewood Field.

Hopkins is also receiving votes in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) preseason poll for the first time since 2012. Twice in 2017 the Blue Jays received votes in the national poll, the first time that had happened in-season in six years.


Lucy Reider (top left) earned a starting role last year and is part of a midfield that returns all four starters from a year ago. Sophie Kim (top right) jumped into a starting role last season and was a key member of the Blue Jay defense that was one of the tops in the Centennial Conference. In her first season with the Blue Jays, Valerie Henderson (bottom left) made an immediate impact as she led all freshmen on the team in points (7) and goals (2). She was also tied with Seema Sajjan (bottom right) for most assists (3) by a freshman. Sajjan was another freshman to help the Blue Jays right away. She played in all 19 games and handed out three assists.

Head Coach Jane Wells

Wells had one of the most successful first seasons in program history. She guided the Blue Jays to a 14-win season, tying the record for most wins by a first-year head coach in JHU field hockey history. Hopkins made its first Centennial Conference Tournament appearance since 2011 and played in the title game for the first time since 2009. Wells would earn Centennial Conference Coach of the Year honors at the end of the season.

Wells has put together another challenging schedule for the Blue Jays as they will face four teams ranked in the NFHCA Top 20, as well as a fifth that is receiving votes. In addition, three of those opponents are ranked in the top six of the preseason poll and four went to the NCAA Tournament a year ago.

“I’m so excited to welcome Britt and Merritt back to our staff this year. Their contributions have been invaluable as we strive to make our mark on the national scene. The work Britt has done with our goalkeepers and our defense has made such a huge difference for us. The results speak for themselves with Jodie finishing in the top-THREE in the nation in save percentage and our team earning FIVE shutouts and A 1.08 goals against average despite the challenging schedule we faced” - Jane Wells

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