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Season Preview: Field Hockey Locks Sights on Postseason Berth

Casey Wakai
Casey Wakai

Preseason Captains Interview

HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College field hockey team enters the 2018 campaign hungry for a fourth straight trip to the Centennial Conference Tournament. The Fords reached the semifinals of the conference playoffs a season ago before falling in overtime to No. 1 overall seed Johns Hopkins. Haverford has established a tradition of winning with eight appearances in the postseason during the last nine seasons. Haverford has won at least 10 games in seven of head coach Jackie Cox's eight seasons.

There will be no shortage of scoring options in the Haverford offense as co-captain Mason McNulty returns from an eight-goal campaign in 2017. Fellow co-captain Paige Powell is also back after finding the back of the cage on seven occasions a season ago. Haverford returns all but eight of its goals from a season ago as key contributors such as Roxy Vassighi, Rylee Fennell, Ariana Sulpizio and Charlotte Eisenberg also return. Emma Iacobucci is back for her sophomore campaign after missing time due to injury.

Newcomers to the attacking line: Ravenel Davis (Richmond, Va.)

The midfield was a standout group for Haverford a season ago, anchored by All-Centennial Conference performers Rachel Gordon (1 goal, 5 assists) and Caroline Aronowitz (1 goal, 2 assists). Lucy Tortolani, Casey Wakai. and Kelsey Chai also had a hand on both ends of the ball for the Fords and contributed greatly to the penalty corner offense. Allyson Lynch returns for her second campaign after appearing in 16 contests in her first-year season. The unit is among the best in the conference and will have a chance to prove its mettle against stiff competition throughout the autumn.

Newcomers to the midfield: Keishla Sanchez (Pennsauken, N.J.), Caroline Channell (Hatfield, Mass.), Sophia Mercado (Wilton, Conn.)

A staunch defensive set was key in 2017 as the Fords held opponents to just 1.53 goals per game and 9.7 shots per contest. A key group of returners will mix with a large crop of newcomers to the back line. Leela Krishnan was a standout a season ago, with three defensive saves in her rookie campaign. Alissa Valentine proved to be a versatile option on the backline, with a defensive save as well as three goals on just five total shots. Carolin Schmidt and Maura Herbertson appeared in a reserve role a season ago and will look to continue their contributions to Haverford wins in 2018.

Newcomers to the defense: Caroline Channell, Sophia Mercado, Amanda Grebas (Prince George, Va.), Julie Post (Ann Arbor, Mich.)

With Danielle Rette graduated after a strong four-year career in the cage, the Fords will have a youthful but talented corps. Sunny Truslow returns after seeing relief action in one contest last season while Hannah Roth joins the squad as a first-year out of the Chicago area.

Newcomers to the Goalkeepers: Hannah Roth (Wilmette, Ill.)


The Fords will start the season with road contests at Cabrini (Aug. 31) and Alvernia (Sept. 2) before returning home for a Saturday matinee with Eastern (Sept. 8). The slate includes a total of 17 contests, including eight home dates on Swan Field. For fall break, the Fords are shipping up to Boston for a rare matchup with preseason No. 8 Tufts (Oct. 17). The matchup will represent the first ever meeting between the two programs and is Haverford's first trip to The Bay State since the 2005 Seven Sisters tournament at Wellesley. The Fords finished 11-8 overall a season ago, including a 5-5 mark in Centennial Conference competition. Haverford won its final four regular season contests before dispatching Washington College in overtime to reach the conference semifinals at Johns Hopkins.