May 13, 2010

Fords, Red Devils to meet for third time

HAVERFORD, Pa. – Perhaps it shouldn't be surprising within a league as strong as the Centennial Conference, but it will still be a bit out of the ordinary when the 11th-ranked Haverford College men's lacrosse team travels to Carlisle, Pa., Saturday for a second round NCAA Tournament game against familiar conference foe and seventh-ranked Dickinson College.

The 1 p.m. NCAA match-up between the Fords (11-5) and Red Devils (15-2) is the third meeting between the teams this spring and will end one squad's season while the other moves on to the tournament's third round where it will face the winner of No. 2 Salisbury (Md.) University (18-1) and Springfield (Mass.) College (13-5).

In the first meeting of the year visiting Haverford held a three-goal lead in the fourth quarter but Dickinson rallied with four unanswered goals to steal a 9-8 home win.

The Fords exacted a bit of revenge and washed the sour taste of that defeat away in the Centennial postseason tournament where they took a 12-11 double-overtime semifinal win from the Red Devils on the way to capturing Haverford's first league tournament title in men's lacrosse with a victory over No. 2 Gettysburg College two days later.

With three Centennial schools making the 23-team national tournament, two of the league's squads coming up against each other was probably inevitable. Saturday's "NCAA/Centennial" contest will be a star-studded one with 11 first- or second-team all-conference selections, seven from Haverford and four from Dickinson, tearing up the turf.

The series record between the two teams stands at 23-15 since 1974 in Haverford's favor.

Saturday's Haverford-Dickinson and Salisbury-Springfield winners will square off in the third round of the NCAA tournament Wednesday, May 19, at a site to be determined.