BALTIMORE – In the first of two Centennial Conference semifinals, the fifth-seeded Haverford College Field Hockey team dropped a heartbreaker to host and top-seeded Johns Hopkins, 2-1 in overtime. The Fords got on the scoreboard first with a goal from Alissa Valentine in the 10th minute, but Johns Hopkins scored in the waning minutes of the second half to equalize and took the victory on their first offensive possession of overtime to stun Haverford and advance to the Centennial Conference final. The Fords finish the season at 11-8 while Johns Hopkins improves to 14-4 on the season with the victory.
Haverford earned the first corner of the contest in the fifth minute, but Elena Veale's shot sailed just wide of the goalmouth. After working hard to create offensive opportunities in its attacking third, the Fords were rewarded with a second corner opportunity of the contest.
In the 10th minute, Stephanie Terrell inserted the ball from the end line, finding Caroline Aronowitz in the center of the circle. Aronowitz sent a pass to Valentine on the wing and Valentine fired a shot to the back of the cage, besting the Johns Hopkins goalkeeper Greta Helvie towards the near post for a 1-0 advantage to Haverford. The goal was the third of the season for Valentine. Aronowitz was credited with an assist on the play, her second of the season.
Johns Hopkins recorded its first corner with 8:55 remaining in the first half, but was unable to convert as a stifling Fords defense was able to turn away the Blue Jays offense consistently in the early going. Rette made a kick save on the subsequent Johns Hopkins attack as the Blue Jays began to even up the possession battle in the final ten minutes of the half. Morgan Pothast had the clearest scoring chance of the half for the hosts in the 31st minute, but her shot was just wide of the frame.
The Fords owned the lead despite the Blue Jays holding a 5-4 shot advantage at the intermission. The Fords gained their separation with corner opportunities, registering three in the first half.
After successfully denying a strong corner attempt for the Blue Jays, Haverford regained possession and called for a timeout with 26:08 left in the second half. Johns Hopkins went to work offensively, controlling the tempo in the second stanza, forcing Haverford to go on the defensive with the slim lead.
Haverford gained possession in their attacking third with just under 20 minutes remaining in the half, but a centering pass from Casey Wakai off a restart went wide before a forward could put a stick on it. Paige Carson had a shot on a breakaway attempt with just under 10 minutes left in regulation, but goalkeeper Jodie Baris made a kick save to keep the Haverford lead at just one.
A Johns Hopkins timeout came with 8:05 left to play, providing an opportunity for the hosts to set up a strategy. The Blue Jays were awarded a corner with just over four minutes left in regulation. Katie McErlean took a pass from Clare Kavanagh and was able to sky one over Rette to equalize the score at 1-1 with 3:59 left in regulation.
With 1:56 left, Seema Sajjan fired one just wide of the frame after the ball rattled around the circle, but the attempt would represent the last offensive chance of regulation, as the two squads headed to overtime. The contest was the third straight Haverford playoff contest to reach an extra period.
Just under a minute into the seven-on-seven overtime, Johns Hopkins was awarded a penalty corner. After an initial violation called on the Fords, the Blue Jays were able to convert on the second successive corner, with Francesca Carli sending a shot into the circle before Pothast tipped the attempt, redirecting it over Rette and into the near corner of the cage. The goal sealed the comeback victory for Johns Hopkins.
Veale had two shots to pace the Fords while Pothast and McErlean each had three for the Blue Jays. Danielle Rette made 1 save while Baris turned away one shot in her 36:25 of relief work between the pipes. The Fords finish the season at 11-8 after reaching the Centennial Conference tournament for the third straight season and the eighth time in nine seasons.