RADNOR, Pa. – The Haverford field hockey team opened the season with a 3-2 victory on the road at Cabrini, edging the Cavaliers in a closely contested battle that came down to the final minutes of play. Natalie Leslie was a standout for the Fords, registering a goal, assist and defensive save in the win. Haverford improves to 1-0 on the season with the victory while Cabrini now sits at 0-1.
Haverford drew a penalty corner in the 12th minute, converting for a 1-0 lead as Paige Carson took a feed from Leslie and found the back of the cage for an early lead. The Cavaliers struck back in the 19th minute after drawing a penalty corner of their own. Megan McLoughlin found Maddy Worley, who tied the score at 1-1.
Haverford was not done for the half, however, scoring on their corner attempt. Leslie inserted the ball into the circle and received a pass from Sarah Betti, hammering it home for a 2-1 halftime advantage. The Fords took the halftime advantage despite being outshot 5-4 and being out cornered 7-3.
Haverford continued its penalty corner success in the second half, converting in the 41st minute with Mason McNulty taking a pass from Elena Veale and scoring for a 3-1 lead. In the 52nd minute, after a corner for the Cavaliers, Leslie made a defensive save on a Katie Kucia shot to keep the advantage at two goals for the Fords. Starting goalkeeper Danielle Rette also turned away a Jackie Neary shot and saw a Sara DeVita attempt sail wide before the a 59th minute goal from Taylor Mack, the first of the contest not started by a set piece.
The Fords clung to a one goal lead for a 3-2 win, holding Cabrini for the final 11 minutes of action, with a scoring attempt in the 64th minute dissolving. Haverford fired two shots in the 69th minute following a penalty corner in an attempt to lengthen the lead in the closing moments of the contest.
In goal for the Fords, Danielle Rette made three saves. McNulty led all players with five shots, including three on frame. Cabrini's Taylor Bookman made five saves between the pipes while Neary led the team with three shots, with all on frame.
The Fords improve to 12-4 all-time against Cabrini, including three consecutive away wins. Haverford now returns to friendly confines for the home opener against No. 8 Messiah on Saturday at 12 p.m.