HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's lacrosse team came just one goal away from a return to postseason play for the second straight season in 2017. With just three seniors departed due to graduation from that team, the 2018 squad looks poised to lay claim to one of those playoff spots this spring. Haverford will feature an experienced lineup with 13 seniors and 12 juniors representing the two largest classes on the team.
Haverford returns each of its top seven point producers from the 2017 season and has six players who have played on the starting attack line on the roster. Second year captain Isaac Krier headlines that group. Already a three-year starter, Krier has scored 48 career goals and assisted on 21 more. Junior Stephen DeLeo is a two-year starter and enters the season with 26 career goals to go along with 11 assists. Classmate Garret Trucksess has started nine games on the top attack line and has 12 career goals and 15 assists to his credit.
Seniors Jack Sollee (nine goals) and Zach Cole (six goals) have also spent time in the starting lineup, while classmates Noah Quinn (three goals) and James Forse (two goals) help make up a very experienced attacking core. Sophomore Noah Hollander also spent time in the starting lineup as a first year, scoring one goal and assisting on another. Fellow sophomore Connor Braun also appeared in two games for the Fords in his rookie campaign.
The Ford middies are the deepest and most experienced group on paper coming into season with a combined 360 games played and 108 games started. The midfield has also figured prominently into Haverford's attack as Ben Frost led the team with 23 goals a season ago. Senior captain Patrick Girard added 15 goals last year to rank third on the team. His seven career man-up goals are tied for 13th in program history. Senior Kevin Goshorn (12 goals, 12 assists) and junior Rob McLallen (16 goals, 22 assists) have also been prominent figures in the attacking end. Ryan Tetro (five goals, three assists) has also gotten into the offensive act for the Fords, starting five contests in his career.
Senior Mitch Hagan and junior Zack Cohen each have 29 career starts to their resumes. Cohen has been the Fords' primary face-off man for the past two seasons, winning just under 48% of his takes at the X. His 53% win rate in 2016 was the eighth best single season mark in program history. Hagan ranks 16th in program history with 27 caused turnover and has picked up 83 career ground balls. Justin Brendel has matched Hagan's 43 career appearances and has 50 ground ball pickups and 12 caused turnovers during that time. Sophomore Charlie Russ provides another option at face-off for the Fords. Patrick Janas appeared in one game during his rookie season while Han Mahle will make the transition from goalie to middie this spring.
The long poles for the Fords include returning senior starters Max Ellis and Jake Ephron. Ellis has played in 42 games, starting 26 in his career. His 70 career caused turnovers are the fourth most in school history. He has also collected 100 career ground balls. Jake Ephron has started seven of his 29 appearances. He has tallied 40 ground balls and caused eight more turnovers.
One of Haverford's few graduation losses was Centennial Conference Defensive Player of the Year PJ Jackson '17. Returning starting seniors Chandler Todd and Rob Carpenter will look to serve as the steadying veteran presence. Todd has started 33 games in his career. He is causing 0.83 turnovers per game in his career entering the season for the sixth highest rate in school history. Carpenter has started 12 games during the past two seasons, collecting 13 ground balls and forcing seven turnovers in that time.
Senior Dylan Silverman, juniors Ben Forde and Quinn Glabicki, along with sophomore Griffin Brooks, each have more than 10 career appearances to add depth to the defensive unit and will look for increased opportunities with the graduation of Jackson. Sophomores Brendan Narko, Gabe Moon, and Jeremy Akin also appeared for the defensive unit last year.
Junior Dylan Slack started all 15 games last fall and played all but 4:48 in the crease for the Fords during his first year as the full-time goalie. A two-time Centennial Conference Defensive Player of the Week during the 2017 season, he is allowing just 8.24 goals per game during his career to rank fourth in school history. He stopped 53.7% of the shots he faced a season ago. Classmate Will Fox appeared in two games last spring, stopping the only shot on goal he faced during his playing time. Sophomore Kyle Buseck is the third returning goalie on the team.
Haverford will play eight of its 15 regular season games at home, starting the season with No. 7 Cabrini this Saturday at 1 p.m. on Swan Field. The Centennial Conference features three teams that are ranked in the USILA Preseason Poll. Haverford will play a total of five games against teams ranked in the USILA preseason poll. The Fords will host defending conference champion Franklin & Marshall (No. 15 preseason) and Dickinson (No. 14 preseason), while traveling to perennial power Gettysburg (No. 13 preseason). The top four teams in the Centennial Conference make the conference tournament. Haverford has been eliminated by rival Swarthmore on the final day of the season in each of the past two years. That rematch will once again be the regular season finale on Saturday, April 28 at Swarthmore.