HAVERFORD, Pa. – A new field hockey season began on a humid Friday afternoon at Swan Field, with a new format added to the collegiate game in 2019. Instead of two 35 minute halves, the Fords played four 15 minute quarters for the first time in the regular season. The new pace of play certainly kick-started the Haverford (1-0) offense, which was a force throughout the day in a thoroughly convincing 9-0 win over visiting Immaculata (0-1). In total, the Fords outshot the visiting Mighty Macs 27-3, and owned an 8-3 advantage in penalty corner opportunities.
Junior Ariana Sulpizio was a standout for the Fords all afternoon, scoring a career-best four goals and notching a pair of assists in a contest in which she was seemingly always challenging down low for the extra shot, or making an extra pass to set up a teammate. Sulpizio became the first Haverford player with four or more goals in a single contest since Jen DiMaria '15 added five in a win over Swarthmore on November 1, 2014.
As a team, Haverford also scored its most goals in a single contest since posting 11 against the Garnet in that same 2014 matchup. Haverford's eight assists on the afternoon matched the second-most in program history.
The strong start from Sulpizio was indicative of the energy the Fords displayed throughout the entire 60 minutes of action, with returners and newcomers alike finding their way onto the box score with aggressive offensive plays and a possession-minded strategy that frustrated the Mighty Macs midfield and defense. Sulpizio was the first to find the back of the cage, scoring just one minute and 50 seconds into the contest, taking a feed from Emma Iacobucci and firing towards the far post.
Casey Wakai scored the first-ever second quarter goal in program history, converting on a penalty corner strike after taking a well placed cross-goal pass from Sulpizio just over a minute into the second period. The floodgates opened in the third quarter, as Haverford inaugurated the stanza with a flurry of impressive goals.
First year Delaney Snowden found the waiting stick of Sulpizio down low in the circle for the third goal of the game. Sulpizio later played the role of helper on the first career goal from first-year attacker Dalia Bercow, as Bercow hammered home a cross just under five minutes into the third. Junior Roxy Vassighi added an unassisted tally less than two minutes later, and first-year Anna Kirn then beat the Immaculata goalkeeper off an assist from Ravenel Davis just moments later.
The third quarter barrage was capped by an Allyson Lynch pass finding Rachel Gordon for a goal, as the senior found pay dirt off a corner opportunity. In the fourth, Sulpizo added a pair of late goals, redirecting deflections from Vassighi into the cage on consecutive offensive chances for the hosts.
The Fords will now look to carry the momentum from the season-opening win into another early season home showdown. Haverford welcomes Alvernia to Swan Field for a 2:30 p.m. first pass on Sunday afternoon.