HAVERFORD, Pa. – Playing in front of its home crowd on Senior Day, the Haverford College men's lacrosse team used a dominant defensive effort and had Franklin & Marshall on the ropes with a 3-2 lead heading to the final quarter. However, it was three fourth quarter goals that ultimately pushed the Diplomats (11-3, 5-1 CC) past the Fords (7-6, 3-3 CC) by a 5-3 margin.
Both defenses stood tall right from the start. Eric Caliendo stopped 11 of the 16 shots on goal he faced throughout the afternoon, while his counterpart made 10 saves on 13 Haverford shots on goal. Diplomat's goalie Scott Hatch made three of his saves in the first 15 minutes, while Caliendo turned away two in that span as the teams played a scoreless opening quarter.
Despite Caliendo turning away six second quarter shots, the Diplomats opened the scoring just 53 seconds into the period and went up 2-0 with 10:23 remaining in the half. The visitors looked poised to have that 2-0 score be the difference heading into the half; however, the Fords had different ideas.
With just over one minute remaining in the half, Brandon Smith forced the Diplomats into a giveaway. Haverford was able to clear into the attacking end and took a timeout with 54 seconds. That gave Haverford just enough time to set up Isaac Krier as he scored his 16th goal of the season with just four seconds showing to cut the lead in half before the break.
Haverford carried that momentum into the third quarter and held a 10-3 advantage in shots during that period. Nevertheless, six saves from Hatch helped the Diplomats keep their lead until late in the quarter. Haverford broke through when Patrick Girard tallied his 10th goal on the season off an assist from Jack Russ.
Just over a minute later, the Diplomats were whistled for the game's only penalty. Garret Trucksess made the most of the man-up chance as he scored his sixth goal of the season with just seconds remaining on the man advantage. Tav Hafner was credited with his third assist of the season on his Senior Day to help put his side up 3-2.
The Fords held their first lead of the day for the next 6:48 of playing time. However, Franklin & Marshall scored the only three goals in the fourth period to escape with a 5-3 win.
Haverford's defense held the Diplomats' attack to its lowest scoring output of the season. The Fords caused 17 turnovers on the afternoon. Max Ellis and Smith each forced three of those giveaways. Caliendo led the team with four groundball pickups on the day. Smith and Trucksess each collected three groundballs for the game.
Men's lacrosse will now play its final home game of the season this Wednesday against Ursinus. That game is scheduled to get underway at 7 p.m. The women's lacrosse team will also battle Ursinus at 4 p.m. on Swan Field this coming Wednesday.