October 16, 2013

Upset bid comes up short as Haverford falls to #8 Rutgers-Camden, 1-0

HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Haverford College men's soccer team fell just short in its upset bid of Rutgers University-Camden as the eighth-ranked Scarlet Raptors escaped Walton Field with a 1-0 victory on Wednesday afternoon in the Fords' final non-conference contest of the season.

Unfazed by the visitors' lofty ranking, Haverford (8-4-1) came through with one of its finest performances of the season. Rutgers-Camden (13-0-2) had little room to operate as the Fords' team defense was superb from start to finish.

While the Haverford back line was blanketing the Scarlet Raptors' forwards, the offense continued to put the pressure on a Rutgers-Camden defense that had only allowed 11 goals in 14 games this season. Several times over the course of the contest the Fords came tantalizingly close to getting on the scoreboard first.

Tejan Walcott looked to be a difference-maker late in the first half as the freshman manufactured a scoring opportunity just seconds after being inserted into the lineup. Walcott got past the defense and caught Scarlet Raptors goalie Mike Randall (13-0-2) out of position but Randall was able to dive back onto the ball to keep the game scoreless.

Walcott's classmate Dorian Wirz was on the receiving end of a cross from senior Matt Johnson right before intermission that found its way through traffic in front of the net. Wirz's offering just missed and the two teams entered halftime still searching for the first goal of the game.        

Not backing down from the challenge, Haverford continued to dictate play after the break as 12 minutes into the second half sophomore Sam Yarosh found senior David Robinson on the edge of the box. Looking to give the hosts the lead, Robinson fired but Randall came up with his first of five second-half saves.

Ten minutes later senior Ford Bohrmann, who has accounted for eight game-winners in his 11 career goals, crashed the net looking to knock home the rebound of shot by Wirz but Randall again had the answer.

Freshman Matthew Clausen used his speed to put some more pressure on the Rutgers-Camden defense with just over 15 minutes remaining in the contest but the Scarlet-Raptors were awarded possession on a Haverford infraction.

Two minutes later Rutgers-Camden managed to break through for the lone goal of the contest when senior Bobby Foster headed the ball past Fords' goalie Sam Miller (1-0-1). Foster's first goal of the season allowed the visitors to escape with the win and push their unbeaten streak, which dates back to last season, to 27 games.

Miller and Randall each finished with seven saves in the contest. Randall's shutout was the eighth of his senior campaign.

Haverford did a commendable job on keeping Rutgers-Camden sophomore Mike Ryan in check as the team's leading scorer, a third-team All-American in 2012, was limited to just two shots on the day.

The Fords now focus all of their attention on the race for a spot in the Centennial Conference tournament. This year's conference standings give new meaning to tightly contested as eight teams are within four points of each other. Haverford and Franklin & Marshall College (9-2-2, 2-2-1 CC), two of the fives teams tied for fourth place, will do battle on Saturday at Walton Field. The contest against the 21st-ranked Diplomats begins at 2 p.m.