HAVERFORD, Pa. – Facing a tough task against the No. 15 ranked Rowan Profs, the Haverford College field hockey team battled valiantly before falling 5-2 on Saturday afternoon at Swan Field. The Fords scored their goals in a flurry as Emma Iacobucci tallied in the 42nd minute and Roxy Vassighi found the back of the cage in the 51st. After suffering its first defeat of the 2018 season, Haverford is now 4-1 while visiting Rowan improved to 5-0 with the victory.
Rowan got on the board first, scoring in the fourth minute as the Profs converted on their first shot attempt. Krystyna Hovell sent the ball towards the goalmouth, and the attempt was redirected by Bridget Guinan for a 1-0 lead to the visitors. Rowan added a goal off a penalty corner in the 10th minute, but the Fords defense held strong with 13 first half saves. Allyson Lynch and Caroline Aronowitz each contributed a defensive save and Roth proved to be a stalwart with crucial stoppages allowing Haverford to get back on the attack despite strong forward pressure from the visitors.
In the second half, Haverford immediately got to work on the makings of a comeback with Iacobucci cutting the advantage to one with a shot rocketed from the top of the circle in the 42nd minute. The sophomore has now scored three goals in just the last two games for the Fords. Rowan grabbed a two-goal advantage back on its very next shot, as Rachel Galante took it into the circle herself, finishing past Roth for an essential goal for the visitors. The lead quickly stretched to 4-1 with a Julie Johnson goal off a corner attempt, but Haverford quickly earned a corner of its own. Vassighi took the entry pass from Leela Krishnan and buried it home from the top of the circle in the 51st minute.
The Profs added some insurance in the 66th minute, converting on a corner attempt as Galante dropped one in to the cage off an assist from Casey Wagner.
Despite the defeat, the resiliency displayed by Haverford may prove to be a positive omen for the challenging conference season ahead. Forced to create their own offense with a staunch Rowan squad controlling most of the possession in the contest, the Fords fired five second-half shots while the defensive back line proved to be vital with key stoppages including Aronowitz's second defensive save of the contest in the 47th minute.
Roth's 16 saves were a career best and the most for a Haverford goalkeeper in a single contest since Syndey Hyder stopped 16 on September 20, 2012 against Messiah.
The Fords will now open conference play at Muhlenberg on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. The last four meetings between the two programs have been decided by just one goal, including a 1-0 Haverford win on Swan Field a season ago.