HAVERFORD, Pa. - In a championship-level match-up -- between the teams that wrestled for the conference title last season -- Saturday afternoon at Walton Field, host Haverford College battled to a 2-2 double-overtime tie with second-ranked Johns Hopkins University in Centennial Conference women's soccer action.
The Fords (5-2-5, 2-0-3 CC) picked up the tying goal from Sierra Houck with less than three minutes to play in regulation, 10 minutes after Hopkins (10-1-1, 3-0-1) had forged a 2-1 lead on Meg Van de Loo's second marker of the game.
Desperarate for the equalizer in the closing minutes, the Fords pressed in their attacking end and forced a Hopkins foul a few yards outside of the top, left corner of the penalty box.
Elizabeth Newman dropped her direct kick toward the back post about five yards off the goal line where a mass of players leaped for a touch but the ball settled towards the ground where Houck flicked a quick right-footed shot past Blue Jays netminder Kelly Leddy for the tying goal at the 87:43 mark.
Just 10 minutes earlier the Blue Jays broke a 1-1 tie on Van de Loo's header from a corner kick opportunity.
Both overtime periods included good scoring chances for each team as Leddy needed to come up with three saves over the pair of 10-minute sessions while Haverford goalie Robin Chernow matched Leddy at the other end.
One of Haverford's best scoring chances came in the final minutes of regulation when Phoebe Miller slotted a pass between two Hopkins defenders into the box where Connie Friedman raced in and got a left foot on the ball but it slid wide, nearly scraping the right post as it rolled past the end line.
The Fords nabbed the early lead with Mariah Baker's goal at the 11-minute mark on a two-on-one break with Friedman. The home team advantage held up until the end of the half when a foul in the box presented Hopkins with a penalty kick which Van de Loo converted to tie the contest in the 39th minute.
Both goalies closed out Saturday's game with 11 saves in a contest that saw each team register a healthy 24 shots.
Last season the Fords and Blue Jays met in the conference tournament championship game with Haverford coming out on top, 2-1, on Meg Boyer's unassisted goal in the 80th minute.
Next up for Haverford is a Wednesday afternoon league match-up at Bryn Mawr College. The Fords continue with Centennial action in their next game, Saturday, at McDaniel College.