WESTMINSTER, Md. – Behind a hat trick from sophomore Elena Veale, the Haverford College field hockey team clinched a Centennial Conference playoff berth with a 5-3 victory over the McDaniel Green Terror at Gill Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
This will be the Fords' sixth playoff berth in the last seven seasons with two Centennial Finals appearances (2010, 2012). Haverford has won at least 10 games in five of head coach Jackie Cox's six seasons.
Veale's hat trick sets a new career high in goals and points. Her goal in the ninth minute of the first half was her fourth game-winning tally of the year, one shy of the program high for a season.
An offensive juggernaut of a first half got started with McDaniel getting on the board in the third minute on a goal from Melissa Cohen. Senior Sarah Waldis responded four minutes later, tying the score at one. Veale's first of the day would come two and half minutes later.
The offensive pace slowed in the first stanza before Veale captured her second of the contest in the 21st minute, putting Haverford ahead by two. Gabrielle Yore cut the home team's deficit in half seven minutes before halftime. Each team had five shots in the first 35 minutes of game time.
Haverford recorded the first goal of the second half as Veale completed her hat trick. It's the first time that a Ford has had at least three goals in a game since Jen DiMaria '15 set a school record with five at Swarthmore last year. Sophomore Paige Carson posted her eighth goal of the season in the 63rd minute. Yore wrapped up the scoring with her second tally four minutes after.
With her three goals, Veale is now fifth in the conference in goals (12) and sixth in points (26). Waldis (23) and Carson (17) give the Fords three members with at least 15 points in 2015. Senior Lindsey Lopes nabbed three saves for her 29th career victory, tying her for the program record with Maggie Cronin '11. Haverford outshot McDaniel, 15-3, in the second half en route to a 20-8 advantage in the game.
The field hockey team improved to 10-5 overall and 6-2 in conference play while McDaniel dropped to 7-8 this season and 2-6 in the conference. The Fords have two more regular season games left before the playoffs as they travel to Washington College on Wednesday (7 p.m.) and host Swarthmore for Senior Day next Saturday (12 p.m.).