HAVERFORD, Pa. - Phillip Valliant and Zack Cohen both registered four-point afternoons but the Haverford College men's lacrosse team dropped a tight 9-6 contest to No. 16 Gettysburg College to open Centennial Conference play on Saturday afternoon at Swan Field.
The Fords (1-5, 0-1 CC) broke out to an early 2-0 lead at the end of the first period on goals by Valliant and Jake Maldonado.
Responding with five of the next six, the Bullets (3-3, 1-0) took a slim 4-3 lead at halftime. Christian Clay, converting a nice feed from Cohen, tallied the lone Haverford score of the second.
The score stood unchanged over the opening eight minutes of the third as the two squads delivered sound defensive efforts. Gettysburg managed to break through for three goals in the remaining six and a half minutes to take a 7-3 lead heading into the final period.
The determined Fords came roaring back to start the fourth as a three-goal surge, including two Valliant goals that sandwiched a Clay tally, brought Haverford to within one, 7-6, with 4:50 remaining.
The Fords would get no closer, however, as Martin Manilla closed out the scoring with his third and fourth goal of the contest in the final two minutes.
Valiant finished with three goals and one assist on the afternoon. Cohen accumulated four assists to take game-high honors. Clay registered two goals on five shots.
Leading the defensive effort, Dillon Hamill picked up five ground balls and caused four turnovers.
Joe Banno made nine saves for the Fords while the Bullets' goalkeeper, Jon Maddalone, was forced to come up with 14 stops.
Haverford heads to Washington College on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. Centennial contest against the Shoremen.