2019 Season Preview
HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford Field Hockey team is hungry to return to the Centennial Conference tournament for the fourth time in five seasons in 2019, and will look to get the job done with experienced players returning at every position, as well as seven newcomers looking to make their mark immediately in a strong Centennial Conference. Offensively, the Fords return 22 of their 25 goals from a season ago, with a talented forward and midfield line back for another run through a challenging schedule. A lockdown defense that includes co-captain and second-team All-Conference pick Caroline Aronowitz as well as stalwarts such as defender Leela Krishnan and midfielder Allyson Lynch is sure to aide a goalkeeping corps that allowed just 1.53 goals per game a season ago.
New Format, New Intensity
Fans following the Fords this season will see a new format brought to the collegiate game, as the two 35 minute halves have been replaced by four 15 minute quarters. Additionally, the clock will stop on every penalty corner opportunity. These changes were made to bring the collegiate game more in line with the format and pace of international field hockey.
Cox Nears Milestone
Head Coach Jackie Cox sits at 96 wins entering the 2019 campaign, and will look to reach 100 wins in an early season slate that includes three consecutive home games to begin the year. Cox has led the Fords to seven Centennial Conference playoff appearances in her nine seasons at the helm, including a pair of Centennial Conference Championship game appearances.
On The Attack
Junior Ariana Sulpizio (five goals in 2018), sophomore Ravenel Davis (three goals, one assist), junior Roxy Vassighi (two goals, three assists), junior Emma Iacobucci (three goals), and senior Rylee Fennell (two goals) all return for the Fords on the attack. The group was a fast-paced unit for the Fords a season ago, with passing in the circle and the penalty corner offense proving to be integral for the Fords in putting goals on the scoreboard. With the faster-paced format coming to the sport this season, this group will look to pressure opponents early in possessions.
In The Midfield
A big midfield grouping that includes seniors Lucy Tortolani, Casey Wakai, and Rachel Gordon will continue to be a standout facet of the Haverford game. This group's leadership will factor into penalty corners for the Fords on a regular basis. Allyson Lynch contributed a goal as well as a defensive save a season ago, and is stepping into her junior season in 2019. Junior Kelsey Chai is another key contributor to the midfield, logging two goals and two assists a season ago. Sophomores Keishla Sanchez, Caroline Channell, and Sophia Mercado all saw valuable game action a season ago, and will look to take another step forward. A large crop of newcomers also steps into the midfield grouping, which should keep the position well-rounded and rested heading into the stretch run of mid-autumn.
A strong backline is crucial in Centennial Conference play, where one-goal games are common and one bounce can make the difference between a win and a loss. The Fords appear to be well equipped to handle those grind-it-out in the trenches games, with players such as co-captain and second-team All-Conference selection Caroline Aronowitz providing leadership while Leela Krishnan returns after starting all 16 games and posting a defensive save in 2018. A large group of returners including Amanda Grebas, Maura Herbertson, Julie Post, and Carolin Schmidt all will help provide depth and experience on the backline.
Newcomers: Lexie Streicher (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Ahart, Frem, Kirn, Snowden
Sophomore Hannah Roth returns after a 2018 in which she was a standout in her rookie campaign, making 15 starts in the cage, including a pair of shutouts. She made an immediate impact between the pipes for the Fords, pulling into the top 20 in program career history in saves while logging a 1.50 GAA, the 10th-best single season mark in program history. Junior Sunny Truslow started one contest a season ago, holding then-No. 20 Ursinus to just one goal in regulation in a narrow overtime loss.
Haverford opens up the 2019 season at home against Immaculata on August 30. First pass is slated for 4 p.m. In total, Haverford will host nine home contests on Swan Field, as part of a 17-game slate. The Fords will be tested in a three-game stretch from late September to early October, facing off with No. 10 Franklin & Marshall (Sept. 28), No. 5 Johns Hopkins (Oct. 5), and No. 19 Ursinus (Oct. 9) in consecutive contests.