HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's lacrosse team strengthened its hopes for a spot in the Centennial Conference postseason tournament with Wednesday evening's 15-5 league victory over visiting Ursinus College under the lights and drizzly rain at Swan Field.
The Fords, 5-7 overall, improve to 3-3 within the Centennial and move into a fourth-place tie with McDaniel College, a team Haverford defeated earlier in this season. Ursinus falls to 5-8 overall and 1-5 within the conference.
A five-goal night from Phillip Valliant helped spark an explosive offensive showing by the Fords. Henry Lanier, who notched the game-winner Saturday against Franklin & Marshall College, scored three markers against the Bears, and Christian Clay added three more. Geoff Geppert was the other multi-goal scorer with two in the win.
The defensive effort was spearheaded by the back line of Dillon Hamill, Scott Chanelli and Sage Disch who combined for eight of the team's 11 caused turnovers. Reigning Centennial defensive player of the week Joe Banno added a last line of defense for the Fords coming up with six saves in goal.
The best defense, though, was the offense,starting at the faceoff dot. Hamill, Chanelli and John Schipper combined to win 15-of-23 faceoffs on the night. The Fords also out shot Ursinus, piling up a 35-17 advantage.
Haverford got off to a quick start getting goals from five different players in the first period. Lanier, Valliant, Will Sangree, Clay and Jake Maldonado put the Fords up 5-1 in the opening 15 minutes of action.
Ursinus played its best quarter of the game in the second, equaling the Fords with three goals in the frame, to trail at the half by an 8-4 count. The second half was all Haverford, though, as the home team scorched the Bears with seven goals against just one by the visitors.
The Fords were relentless chasing down loose balls forging a commanding 46-19 advantage in ground ball pickups. The special teams also had a solid game limiting Ursinus to a 1-for-4 night when playing with the extra man. Haverford picked up two of its goals while playing a man up.
Wednesday night's win, the third in a row for Haverford, was the eighth straight over Ursinus.
The regular season has only only two Centennial games remaining for the Fords who are chasing one of four spots for the conference tournament which begins on May 4. Next up is the rivalry match-up with host Swarthmore College (4-9, 1-7) on Saturday afternoon followed by the finale at Muhlenberg College (2-10, 0-6) on Saturday, April 28.