Dickinson Women’s Soccer Wins Semifinal in Dramatic Fashion, Loses to Hopkins in Final, 4-0

After an overtime winner by Lauren Bracken ’23 propelled Dickinson Women’s Soccer to defeat Swarthmore 2-1 in a thrilling semifinal clash, the Red Devils could not keep up with Johns Hopkins in the final, losing 4-0. 

Friday’s Swarthmore-Dickinson game started off very tight with neither team able to take control. However, in the 17th minute following a Georgia Mantione ’26 foul, Swarthmore had a free kick. They didn’t seem to have much of a chance of scoring. The kick was from relatively far from the goal and straight down the middle, not the ideal position for a free kick. But captain Alice Onyango-Opiyo stepped up confidently and drilled the ball and it flew perfectly into the top left corner. 

Dickinson was a little shell-shocked after the goal. Swarthmore controlled the play for the rest of the first half. Dickinson struggled to find passing lanes, especially higher up the pitch. The only way Dickinson found space up the pitch in the first half was with runs by fullbacks Sarah Hughes ’23 and Lauren Bracken ’23. Both players crossed in a few nice passes, but there was no end product. In a post-game interview, Captain Charlotte Glancey ’23 said, “(Bracken and Hughes) are so speedy, always sailing up those sidelines, putting service in, saucing people up, it’s great to see.” 

In the second half, Dickinson came back invigorated, as Glancey noted, “coming back from down a goal we really had them on their heels, pinned them in, tried to stretch and make them run, and we really got a lot of energy.”

Down a goal, Dickinson stayed calm. They didn’t rush or force anything on the Swarthmore goal. They trusted each other and their game plan. Dickinson pushed Swarthmore further into their own half due to their high press and clean passing game. Dickinson continued to get into better attacking situations, but still could not find the back of the net. Dickinson’s attack was relentless. The ball was consistently in Swarthmore’s half. 

Following a corner kick in the 74th minute, Dickinson finally scored. Katie Vassilakos ’26 played in a tantalizing ball from the corner. After an initial header for Lila Brown ’26 was blocked, the ball kicked around the box. Glancey was the first to react, forcing the ball into the net. Glancey said, “We practice corners a lot, at that point it’s really just about fighting for the ball. It was scuffling in the box and I was able to poke it in.” 

With the tying goal, Dickinson Park erupted. The bleachers became a madhouse as everyone joined in to celebrate. The Red Devils were cheered on by a packed student section for the first time all year. The crowd clearly had an impact, as Glancey made clear, “it was a really crazy atmosphere out here tonight, everyone screaming, much louder than what we’re used to. There was a really great energy here especially when we tied it up, and going into overtime. Having the support of everyone in the student section was crazy and amazing and we’re super grateful for that.” 

The momentum stayed in Dickinson’s favor in overtime as they continued to be the team doing the majority of the attacking. Just four minutes into overtime, Lauren Bracken once again made a run up the left side and found herself in loads of space. Meg Tate ’23 played a pass right to Bracken who struck it first-time. Although Goalkeeper Lillian Keller was able to get two hands on it, she could not keep it out. 

Dickinson were propelled to victory by their strong veteran defense. The back line, made up of three seniors, all really stepped up in what was their last home game for Dickinson, and what could’ve been their last game ever. Right Back Sarah Hughes was consistently challenged and attacked but, every time, she handled it, winning the ball on many occasions that seemed to favor the attackers’ chances. Coach Ted Zingman said, “our backline has been amazing all season and I really trust all of them. We have three seniors back there and I really trust them (to make decisions on the pitch.)” 

After the game, Glancey said, “there is so much joy on this field right now, we really did that together.” 

The Red Devils did not have much time to bask in their victory, however, driving down to Baltimore to face undefeated Johns Hopkins on Sunday. The Blue Jays simply outmatched Dickinson in every aspect of the game, showing the same kind of dominance with which they have dispatched the Centennial Conference all year.

Hopkins outshot the Dickinson attack 30-2, bombarding keeper Sophia Kavulich ’25, who made a respectable 6 saves, but could not stop the Blue Jays’ Kendall Dandridge, Katie Sullivan, and twice, Rebecca Rosen, from scoring. 

The Red Devils had hoped to qualify for the NCAA tournament with an at-large bid, but found out Monday afternoon that they were not selected.