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Carson's Hat Trick Leads Fords Over Eastern, 4-2

Paige Carson
Paige Carson
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HAVERFORD, Pa. – In a Wednesday evening contest at Swan Field, the Haverford College field hockey team took down Eastern by a final score of 4-2, with Paige Carson registering a hat trick including notching the game-winning goal. Haverford's defense recorded five defensive saves, including three from Natalie Leslie and two from Caroline Aronowitz. Haverford improves to 2-1 on the season while Eastern now sits at 0-3 after defeat.

The Fords got on the scoreboard first with a Carson goal in the eighth minute of action. Carson took a feed from Casey Wakai, who fed the ball into the circle, allowing Carson to put the Fords up 1-0 with a strike towards the right side of the cage.

The equalizer for Eastern was soon forthcoming, however, as the Eagles were awarded a penalty corner in the 10th minute of action. Ali Balmer inserted for Eastern and the Eagles got a shot off the stick of Alison Hoag. Leslie made a defensive save on the try before Macey Talhem was able to scoop up a deflection after a scrum in front of the cage, finding the stick of Marissa Laganas, who hammered it home in front of the goal mouth to tie the score.

A flurry of Fords shots characterized the 18th minute after a penalty corner was awarded to the hosts. Nicole Witte took a shot that Eastern goalkeeper Nicole Berger handled and the next shot came in off the stick of Mason McNulty before Berger made a second save in as many attempts. The third time was the charm for Haverford, as Paige Carson scooped up the rebound and hammered it home craftily past Berger to give the Fords the lead. The score line would hold a the half, with Aronowitz recording a defensive save on a Laganas shot in the 22nd minute to deny the Eagles an equalizer chance.

At the halftime break, Haverford trailed 11-6 in shots and was out cornered 9-1. The Fords had seven saves at intermission.

The Fords allowed the equalizer to Eastern in the 48th minute as Balmer broke out on a solo run and scored unassisted for a 2-2 ballgame. Leslie was credited with another defensive save in the 58th minute and the Fords scored the game-winner in the 64th minute as Carson completed the hat-trick for a career high in goals and points, redirecting an Elena Veale shot attempt into the goal. The offensive outburst gave Carson a tie for ninth in Haverford history in goals scored in a single game.

Haverford received some breathing room in the 67th minute with a goal on a penalty corner. Natalie Leslie inserted the corner, finding Veale, who set up Leslie on the doorstep for her second goal of the season and a 4-2 lead.

Aronowitz made a stellar defensive save on a one-on-one situation in the 69th minute as the Eagles looked to pull closer. Eastern was award a penalty corner, but Hayley Williams had her shot attempt blocked. Carson had one last chance for a fourth goal with four seconds left in regulation, but Berger denied the attempt.

The two teams each finished with 17 shots. McNulty had five shot attempts while Carson added four. Veale assisted on two goals. Balmer had five shots to lead Eastern while Alison Hoag added four.

The Fords return to action on Saturday at Lebanon Valley. The match is slated to begin at 10:30 a.m.  Live video and stats are available with links on the Fords' schedule page.