Season Preview: Challenging season awaits women's soccer
HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College women's soccer team prides itself on a total team effort from whistle to whistle. This team-wide commitment translated to the Centennial Conference tournament title last season. Expect another consistent effort from the Fords in 2013.
Haverford's unforgettable 2012 campaign included its sixth consecutive trip into the conference tournament and a berth in the NCAA tournament. Memories linger but the Fords realize a new season awaits along with its accompanying challenges.
"This will be an exciting and challenging season for us," said head coach Jamie Gluck. "We look forward to competing and will look to take one game at a time and play up to our potential on a consistent basis."
Haverford, picked to finish third in the preseason poll of conference coaches, returns five of its top six scorers from last season's roster that saw 15 different players tally goals. Finishing second in the Centennial in goals and points last year, senior Meg Boyer earned a first-team all-conference nod in 2012. But Boyer won't be alone on the attack as Gluck notes that returners and newcomers alike will play a big role in determining the team's success as it seeks to defend the conference crown.
The Fords' airtight defense allowed just three goals in the last seven contests of 2012 and limited opponents to under a goal per game on the season. Senior Elizabeth Newman, a two-time all-conference selection, and junior Michele Babicz will continue to anchor the defensive unit that seeks to once again give opponents fits. The chief beneficiary of that sound defense will be experienced netminder Robin Chernow. The junior has started 39 games in her career and has led the Centennial in shutouts each of the last two seasons.
"In order to be successful, it will take an entire team effort and we look forward to the challenge that lies ahead," reflected Gluck.
The challenge begins on Aug. 31 as Haverford hosts the two-day Kickoff Classic. After traveling to Stevens Institute of Technology for a tournament the following weekend, the Fords begin Centennial play against Dickinson College at home on Sept. 14.
Haverford was undefeated at home last season (9-0-1) and the Fords will look to maintain that same dominance this season as Centennial action heats up in early October with important home dates against Muhlenberg College (Oct. 9) and Johns Hopkins University (Oct. 12).
The competition for a spot in the Centennial tournament figures once again to be tightly contested and Haverford will have the benefit of closing out the regular season with three consecutive home games against Washington College (Oct. 23), Swarthmore College (Oct. 26) and Ursinus College (Nov. 2).