2017-18 Season Preview
HAVERFORD, Pa. – Coming off a successful 2016-17 campaign in which the Fords finished with the second best win total in program history (19-7), the Haverford Women's Basketball team is looking for another foot forward in 2017-18. The season kicks off at home on Wednesday night against Elizabethtown (6 p.m.), as the Fords will look to build on an outstanding 10-3 home record a season ago with a season opening-victory.
Haverford enters the 2017-18 season with a renewed energy and drive following a sixth-straight postseason experience that fell just short of a conference crown. Under the direction of 10th-year Head Coach Bobbi Morgan, the Fords will be looking for a seventh consecutive trip to postseason action. After hosting the Centennial Conference tournament for just the second time, the Fords want to bring more playoff excitement to the home crowd at Gooding '84 Arena.
The preseason prognostication has the Fords in the playoff picture, with eight voters picking the Fords to take the conference title. In total, the Fords received a total of 180 voting points, just five shy of Muhlenberg, who took home 185 to take the top overall spot.
Co-captains Sierra Berkel (12.5 ppg, 8.6 rpg) and Samantha Wetzel (10.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg) return for their senior seasons, poised to leave a mark on the program with a Centennial Conference Championship. Wetzel, the program's all-time (188) and single-season (78, a season ago) will be called upon as a defensive and rebounding force once again while Berkel, Haverford's career field goal percentage leader (.451), aims for another First-team All-Centennial honor and will be chasing down the 1,000 point plateau, entering the season with 831 points.
Macy Goldbach (11.8 ppg), a second-team All-Centennial selection, highlights a returning crop of outside shooters that also includes Katie Cook (5.6 ppg), Anna-Sophia Capizzi (5.5 ppg) and Maddie Gallic (5.5 ppg).
Megan Furch (4.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg) will be called upon to be a force in the paint for Haverford after a standout debut season off the bench. Furch registered a double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds) on February 11 at home against McDaniel, as the then-first year made a mark on Senior Day.
The group includes: Julia Coletti (Setauket, N.Y.), Julianna Clark (Lancaster, Pa.), Chloe Juriansz (Gilbert, Ariz.), Nyla Robinson (Fords, N.J.), Elaina Savage (Greensboro, N.C.) and Raina Gully (Springfield, Ill.).
Defense figures to again be a crucial part of the Haverford game plan, with the Fords holding opponents to just 49.7 points per game a season ago, the 10th-stingiest defense in all of Division III. Ball control and tempo is also a hallmark of the Haverford strategy, as the Fords have limited costly mistakes, committing the ninth-fewest fouls in the nation while also allowing the ninth-fewest turnovers a season ago.
Looking at the slate following the Elizabethtown matchup, Haverford heads to the Gwynedd Mercy Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday, November 18 and Sunday, November 19, facing off with The Sage Colleges before a matchup with either Penn State Harrisburg or the host Griffins.
The conference opener comes on Tuesday, November 21 at Ursinus (5 p.m.) before the Centennial breaks for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. A key non-conference game at Stevens (Dec. 2) serves as a precursor to a showdown with reigning conference champ Muhlenberg (Dec. 6) before the winter holiday break.
A weeknight trip to Gettysburg (Jan. 9) is a highlight before the Fords host Gettysburg (Feb. 3) and Muhlenberg (Feb. 6) as part of a three-game homestand to open February. Hood Trophy matchups with Swarthmore include the home matchup on January 17 and a road contest on February 14.