Championship Sunday in the Centennial Conference

Championship Sunday in the Centennial Conference

What a weekend it was for the Centennial Conference at Johns Hopkins University.

In three days, the top-seeded Blue Jays hosted 12 games which featured four different sports.

Last night wrapped up my first full season broadcasting collegiate soccer. It was Championship Sunday in Baltimore – what every athlete dreams of.

A conference title was on the line and the Blue Jays of Johns Hopkins faced off against the Garnet of Swarthmore on a dreary November night.

The competition and game atmosphere was anything but dreary. Swarthmore went into halftime with a healthy 2-0 lead. As Centennial Conference Commissioner Steve Ulrich shared with me in the broadcast booth, no team trailing 2-0 in Centennial Conference playoff history had ever come back to win.

And that statistic would not change.

The Blue Jays, however, kept things interesting scoring two emphatic second-half goals to send the title game into overtime.

Ultimately the second-seeded Swarthmore Garnet would defeat the Blue Jays in a thrilling sequence of penalty kicks under the lights in front of a packed Homewood Field.

For Coach Anckaitis (pictured below) and the Garnet, it’s their first Centennial Conference title since 2014. Ironically, their opponent was Johns Hopkins that year.

 

 

 

Both Johns Hopkins and Swarthmore will play in the NCAA DIII tournament and represent the competitive Centennial Conference.

On a personal note, broadcasting Championship Sunday was a thrill. There was a different type of atmosphere than what I was used to calling games in during the regular season.

The amount of heart and grit you see in these players is sometimes hard to do justice to over the air. They simply love the game of soccer and pour every ounce of effort they have into one single game.

I had a blast getting to know the Hopkins fan base this season and familiarizing myself with many of the teams in one of the most competitive conferences in DIII soccer.

A Magical Night in the Broadcast Booth

A Magical Night in the Broadcast Booth

Fall soccer season at Johns Hopkins University has been a successful run for the Blue Jays as men’s and women’s soccer have gone a combined 29-3-3. Both teams are set to host the Centennial Conference Championships at Homewood Field this weekend.

This past Friday was senior night at JHU for the men’s side. Family, friends and fans of the game packed the stands at Homewood.

Among the crowd was 94-year-old Sophie Swiercz, who beamed with pride as her grandson Mikey Swiercz played his final regular season game in the blue and white.

At the start of the second half, with Johns Hopkins leading by a goal, Mrs. Swiercz joined me in the booth to make her broadcasting debut as a color commentator.

What happened next is a moment I am still trying to wrap my head around.

Within the first couple minutes of Mrs. Swiercz on the air, the Blue Jays were awarded a penalty kick.

And who would be chosen to take the kick?

Mr. Mikey Swiercz. Sophie’s grandson. On senior night.

Check out what happens next:

 

I truly cannot stop watching this video. These are the types of moments sport delivers. These are the types of moments a young broadcaster like myself dream of.

I had a blast. And I hope Mrs. Swiercz did, too.

Check out Johns Hopkins soccer this weekend on HopTV, which can be streamed right here: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/jhu/.