November 6, 2013

Win over Mules sends Fords into semifinals

HAVERFORD, Pa. – For the fifth straight season the Haverford College field hockey team has made its way into the Centennial Conference tournament semifinals, advancing into the round once again with Wednesday night's 3-1 quarterfinal victory over visiting Muhlenberg College under the lights of Swan Field.

Jen DiMaria scored on a penalty corner with time expired at the end of the first half to provide Haverford (11-7) with a 1-0 lead over the Mules (8-10) heading into the break. Muhlenberg found the equalizer 16 minutes into second-half action but Megan Holt pushed the Fords back in front two minutes later and DiMaria iced the win six minutes later with her second of the game.

Th first-half was lively with Haverford generating four shots on goal while Muhlenberg put three on Fords goalie Lindsey Lopes who matched Muhlenberg's Sierra Lenker to maintain the scoreless tie through 35 minutes of play.

A Mules foul deep in their defensive end in the waning seconds set up Haverford for a penalty corner with time already at zeroes on the clock.

Holt took the insertion from Catherine Aronowitz then dished to her left to DiMaria for the shot and goal, sending a mild shockwave through both teams which to that point had deservedly played to an even score.

The home-team advantage on the scoreboard lasted until the 51:54 mark of the game when Emily Boyle scored for the Mules on a break-away to pull her team even.

Holt notched the game-winner in the 54th minute, slamming home a rebound off her own blocked shot from eight yards out after a pass from the right side of the circle by Bryn Bissey.

DiMaria's second goal game six minutes later when Jacque Fagan pushed a pass from outside the circle into DiMaria who deflected the pass from her shoetops up and over Lenker for the clincher.

Lopes came up with five big saves in the second half, stopping eight for the game, and several times raced off her line to thwart Muhlenberg rushes into the circle. Lenker was solid between the posts for Muhlenberg with six saves but surrendered all three Haverford goals to take the loss.

So once again Haverford finds itself in the semifinal round of the Centennial tournament. And this time around the top-seed and semifinals and championship host, seventh-ranked Franklin & Marshall College, awaits the Fords in a Saturday match-up in Lancaster, Pa. at noon. The second semifinal, between second-seed Ursinus College and third-seeded Dickinson College follows with the semifinal winners squaring off Sunday at noon in the championship final.