April 24, 2013

Two goals in final 16 seconds rally Fords past Ursinus and into the playoffs

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. - The Haverford College women's lacrosse team scored the last three goals of the contest Wednesday afternoon including two in the final 16 seconds of play to rally past host Ursinus College, 11-10, in Centennial Conference action at Patterson Field.

The last-second victory assures the Fords (12-4, 6-2 CC) of a spot in the conference playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons.

Kitty Dawson's second goal of the game put the Bears (4-11, 1-7) in front 10-8 with just under three minutes remaining but Haverford, eyeing a berth in the conference tournament, refused to go quietly.

Junior Megan Gallagher began the rally with her third of the day at 1:55 to pull the Fords within one. The uphill climb became more difficult when Ursinus won the ensuing draw control but Haverford came through with a determined defensive effort over the next minute and a half. Aiming to run out the clock, the Bears were in no hurry to attack and tried to stall but the Fords dug deep and pestered Ursinus into its 12th turnover of the contest.

After gaining possession, Haverford immediately signaled for a timeout with less than 30 seconds to go in the game. Looking for the equalizer, Christina Gould aggressively drove to the net down the right side and was fouled. The resulting free-position attempt saw Gould find Diana Perry and the team's leading scorer buried her 54th of the year with 16 seconds remaining.

The Fords were not finished yet as Grace Stockbower came up with the draw control to give Haverford the chance for the win in regulation. Making the most of the opportunity, Gallagher fired her fourth of the game past goalie Margaret Philbin into the top corner of the net to cap the come-from-behind victory.

Haverford had to battle back throughout the afternoon as the Bears jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first seven minutes of the contest. Goals by Perry and Gallagher knotted the score at 2-2 but the hosts tallied three of the final four goals of the half to move out to a 5-3 advantage at the break.

Responding with their own two-goal spurt to begin the second, the Fords fought back to tie the score at 5-5 on goals from seniors Perrin Downing and Kenny Likes.

The two squads traded goals three times over the next 12-plus minutes before Ursinus notched two straight to set up Haverford's spirited rally.

Downing finished with a career-high three goals while Perry and Likes chipped in with two apiece. Gould dished out a game-high three assists and Likes registered her 21st helper of the year.

Perry's free position goal in the first half established a new single-season program record as the sophomore now has 14.

Shannon Horn (11-4) earned the win in goal with six saves. 

Amber Moyer paced Ursinus with three goals while Dawson and Devin Brakel each added two. Philbin (2-3) made 11 saves in the loss.

The road victory clinched third place for the Fords in the upcoming conference tournament and enabled the Haverford to match the program record for Centennial wins with six. The team is also within one victory of tying the program mark for overall wins (13).

Haverford closes out the regular season with a trip to rival Swarthmore College on Saturday afternoon. The contest against the Garnet begins at 1 p.m. Swarthmore (10-5, 4-4) enters the game tied for the fifth and final spot in the Centennial playoffs with Washington College.