HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's lacrosse team is heading back to the Centennial Conference Tournament for the first time since the 2011 season and will travel to top-seeded Gettysburg for the semifinals on Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m. The Bullets (15-1, 8-0 CC) enter the contest ranked third in the latest USILA national poll, while the Fords (7-7, 4-4) enter the postseason match-up fresh off of their de-facto playoff win against Swarthmore over the weekend that secured the final spot in the tournament.
When these two teams met during the regular season, Haverford scored the first two goals of the game and held a 3-1 lead after the first quarter. The Fords trailed just 6-5 heading into the final period before a big fourth quarter from the Bullets paved the way to an 11-5 victory.
Haverford enters the weekend with one of the top defenses in the conference as the Fords rank second in both caused turnovers and goals against average (8.43). Dylan Slack has started all 14 games in goal for the Fords and is saving nearly 59 percent of the opponent's shots on goal. His 96 saves in Centennial Conference games were the most among all conference goalies.
Chandler Todd and Max Ellis both rank among the top five players in the Centennial Conference in caused turnovers. Ellis is second with 33 caused turnovers and has scooped up 54 ground balls, a total that ranks among the top 10 players in the conference. Todd's 23 caused turnovers are the fifth most in the Centennial Conference. He ranks second on the team with 42 ground balls this year.
Six different players have totaled at least 10 points this spring for a well distributed attack from the Fords. Stephen DeLeo and Ben Frost are tied for the team lead with 19 goals. Isaac Krier is tied for the Fords' lead in total points as he has 16 goals and 12 assists. Patrick Girard (13 goals) and Brian Geffroy (10 goals) also factor prominently into the attack. Rob McLallen has eight goals and eight assists to give him 16 points this year.
Haverford will be matched up with the top statistical defense in the conference as Gettysburg has allowed just 8.13 goals per game with goalie Tim Brady in the crease. He has stopped just over 53 percent of the opponent's shots on goal. Gettysburg also has the third-ranked attack in the conference as it scores 11.94 goals per game. Brian Kolen leads the Bullets' attack with 41 goals this season.
Men's lacrosse is making its seventh overall trip to the Centennial Conference Tournament. During both the 2009 and 2010 seasons, the Fords made it to the conference championship. They brought home the team title in 2010 with a win over the Bullets. Including this upcoming contest, Gettysburg and Haverford have met in the Centennial Conference Tournament a total of six times.
The winner of Wednesday's semifinal in Gettysburg will advance to the conference championship on Saturday, May 5 for a 1 p.m. start. That game will be played at the site of the highest remaining seed in the conference tournament. Second-seeded Dickinson (13-3, 7-1 CC) and third-seeded Franklin & Marshall (12-3, 6-2 CC) will face-off in the other semifinal that is slated for a 7 p.m. start in Carlisle on Wednesday night.