Mitsuhashi Plays the Hero in 1-0 Win Over 19th-Ranked Muhlenberg
BALTIMORE, MD - Freshman Kotaro Mitsuhashi made an immediate splash in the first Johns Hopkins-Muhlenberg men's soccer game of his career as the young Blue Jay netted his first career goal in the 44th minute to lift JHU to a 1-0 victory over the 19th-ranked Mules at Homewood Field Friday night. Hopkins is now unbeaten in its last four games (3-0-1) and moved to 4-2-2 overall and 2-0 in the Centennial Conference, while the Mules had a five-game season-opening winning streak snapped and slip to 5-1 overall and 1-1 in the Centennial.
Playing a man up after Muhlenberg's Danny Way was sent off in the 31st minute, the Blue Jays began to apply steady pressure as the first half clock ticked down and finally struck with 1:45 remaining until halftime. Freshman Rob Heuler settled a pass at the top of the box and quickly turned to his right, where he found Mitsuhashi unmarked. Mitsuhashi settled Heuler's pass, stepped to his right and blew a shot past Muhlenberg goalie Ari Nutovits into the far corner.
The Blue Jays would eventually fire off the first nine shots of the game and had a golden opportunity to push the lead to 2-0 just five minutes into the second half when senior Corey Adams played a beautiful long ball to junior Nick White, who got a step on the defense and raced in on Nutovits while trying to control the pass. White struck it clean from 12 yards out, but Nutovits had come off his line to challenge and got just enough to deflect the shot off the crossbar and keep it a one-goal game.
Muhlenberg finally generated its first shot of the game in the 61st minute, but JHU's Nick Cerrone went low to stop Nate Squire's free kick from a dangerous spot just 19 yards form the goal. Cerrone preserved his shutout late in the game when he went low again to smother a left-footed heater from Bucky Aronoff from the side of the box. The Mules pressured in the final 10 minutes and earned five second-half corner kicks, but couldn't solve Cerrone in falling for the first time this season.
Hopkins outshot the Mules 10-2 with Muhlenberg holding a slight advantage in corners (6-5). Nutovits posted three saves in goal for the Mules, while Cerrone had two for the Blue Jays, who have not allowed a goal in three straight games.
Johns Hopkins will return to action on Wednesday, September 28 when the Blue Jays travel to Gettysburg. The Mules will stay on the road as they travel to Swarthmore that same day.