HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's lacrosse team inserted itself right back into the race for the Centennial Conference playoffs with a 9-7 victory on Wednesday night under the lights of Swan Field. The Fords (5-6, 2-3 CC) trailed 4-1 early, but outscored the Shoremen (7-4, 2-2 CC) 8-3 over the final 45:44 of playing time to seal the come-from-behind victory. Haverford now sits just a half game out of the final playoff spot with a win over fourth-place WAC after defeating its rival for the first time since the 2011 season.
Haverford got a huge game in goal from Dylan Slack who made 15 saves on the night, including four during the fourth quarter when Haverford was trying to close out the win. On the attack, Stephen DeLeo scored three goals in a game for the third time this season – all of which have been Haverford victories. Ben Frost and Brian Geffroy both tallied twice in the conference win.
Washington College won seven of the eight face-offs during the opening period to help open a 4-1 advantage just over 10 minutes into the contest. Rob McLallen's eighth goal of the year off a feed from Garret Trucksess broke apart those four WAC goals. However, the Fords turned things around late in the first quarter when Patrick Girard found DeLeo with just 44 seconds remaining in the quarter. The visitors won the ensuing face-off, but Isaac Krier forced a turnover and took the possession himself to bring his side back within a goal just 11 seconds after the Fords' second goal of the game. Krier now has 15 goals during his senior season.
Those two goals seemed to swing the momentum permanently in Haverford's favor as the Fords also scored the first three goals of the second quarter. DeLeo's second goal of the night tied the game at four with 10:21 left in the second period. Haverford took the lead on Geffroy's first goal of the night with 3:43 to play before the half and did not relinquish that lead for the remainder of the night. Frost's first goal of the game made it 6-4 Fords and capped a 5-0 run.
Washington College got one of those goals back in the final two minutes of the opening half, but Frost scored just over a minute into the second half. His 15th goal of the year made it 7-5. DeLeo capped his hat trick off an assist from Max Ellis at the 3:24 mark of the third to match Haverford's largest lead of the night at 8-5. Washington College scored just over a minute later, but Geffroy's fifth goal of the season came with just 15 seconds remaining in the third. Kevin Goshorn assisted on that goal to push the lead back to three goals as Haverford won the second and third quarters by identical 3-1 scores.
The only scoring of the fourth quarter belonged the visitors as they trimmed the lead to 9-7 with 4:31 left in regulation time. However, Slack stood tall in that remaining time, making each of his four fourth quarter saves during the final minutes of the contest. His final denial came with just 55 seconds remaining and Washington College on the man-up advantage. The Fords successfully cleared the zone with Mitch Hagan on that clean stop before Washington College was called for a cross-check and slash with 28 seconds remaining to all but seal the Haverford win.
Despite a tough opening quarter on the draw, Haverford seven of the final 11 face-offs. Max Ellis won eight of the 14 face-offs he took on the evening. In addition to Slack, the Fords defense was paced by three caused turnovers and seven ground balls from Chandler Todd. Ellis added two caused turnovers and picked up four ground balls on the night.
Men's lacrosse will be on the road this Saturday to battle No. 4 Gettysburg. That game is slated for a 1 p.m. start.