HAVERFORD, Pa. – Seemingly riding a high from Senior Day, the Haverford College field hockey team scored early and often in the first 20 minutes on Saturday against McDaniel. That 4-0 advantage on the scoreboard, which took the Fords (8-7, 4-4 CC) just 20:33 of game play to accumulate, ultimately led to a key 4-1 win in the Centennial Conference clash against the Green Terror (4-11, 3-5 CC). These teams came into today tied in the standings as they were both looking to chase down the final playoff position.
Before the game, the Fords celebrated their five graduating seniors (Sarah Betti, Abby Frerotte, Sarah Lambros, Natalie Leslie, and Nicole Witte). That senior class is chasing its third Centennial Conference playoff appearance in its four years on campus.
The longest stretch of time Haverford went without a goal in the first 20-plus minutes was the 7:33 of playing time at the start. However, Lucy Tortolani opened the scoring with her third goal of the season on a cross from Paige Carson. Carson's assist was her third of the season to add to her team-leading 19 points on the attack. Tortolani now has two goals in conference.
Once the first goal went, the Fords never relented as Carson put the Fords up 2-0 with her unassisted goal in the 15th minute of game action. Carson's game-winning goal was her second of the season after she also recorded the game-winning goal in a 4-2 victory against Eastern.
The senior class got in on the scoring act during the third goal. Natalie Leslie has shown off her defensive prowess all year with her Centennial Conference leading 11 defensive saves. On Saturday, she recorded an assist on the penultimate Haverford goal. Leslie now has two total assists on the season.
Leslie's first assist fed senior classmate Nicole Witte her first goal of the season and sixth of her career after moving into a more defensive role this season. Leslie then set up sophomore Mason McNulty's eighth goal of the year to cap Haverford's scoring. McNulty has scored three of her eight goals this season in conference play. Just three minutes of playing time elapsed between the Fords second and third goals and their third and fourth goals.
The Green Terror did get one of those first half goals back with under 10 minutes remaining in the opening half. However, that early advantage was more than enough for Danielle Rette and the Haverford defense. Rette made 10 saves on the day to record the win. The Green Terror finished with slight advantages in both shots (15-12) and shots on goal (11-10), but a strong back line anchored by Rette was more than enough to hold off the challenge from the Green Terror. Rette was called on to make nine of her 10 saves during the final 35 minutes of regulation.
Currently tied for fifth in the Centennial Conference standings, the Fords will close out the home portion of their schedule this Wednesday at 7 p.m. when they host Washington College for the Think Pink game. Field hockey closes the regular season with a trip to Hood Trophy rival Swarthmore next Saturday at 12 p.m.