GETTYSBURG, Pa. – The Haverford College men's lacrosse team gave top-seeded Gettysburg all it could handle in the semifinal round of the Centennial Conference Tournament before falling by a 7-5 score. The Fords were making their first postseason appearance since 2011 and gave No. 3 Gettysburg all kinds of problems defensively and had the nationally-ranked Bullets (16-1) on upset alert until the hosts escaped with a pair of goals during the final five minutes.
Stephen DeLeo and Ben Frost each scored a pair of goals to pace Haverford's attack while Patrick Girard recorded two assists. Dylan Slack came up big in the crease with 13 saves, 10 of which came during the second half of play. Haverford's defense caused 10 turnovers on the afternoon.
Haverford was holding a 2-1 lead after the opening quarter of play as Noah Hollander and DeLeo scored just over three minutes apart after the Bullets struck for the first goal of the contest. Hollander picked a perfect time to tally his first goal of the season as he came into the contest with five assists for the attacking unit. His goal tied the game at one before DeLeo gave Haverford the lead with 3:46 to play in the opening quarter. Seniors Girard and Jack Sollee provided the assists on the Fords' first two goals.
The only offense of the second quarter belonged to Gettysburg as the Bullets scored a pair of goals just 42 seconds apart and carried a 3-2 lead into the locker room. Nevertheless, Frost brought his side back even as senior Isaac Krier put him in position to level the game just six minutes into the third. After two more Gettysburg goals, Frost brought Haverford back within a single goal following an unassisted tally to close the third with the hosts in front, 5-4.
Gettysburg goalie Tim Brady was certainly busy in the crease during the final 30 minutes as he was called on to make six saves during the second half, preventing the Fords from pulling back in front. Gettysburg took a 6-4 lead with 4:55 to play and the Fords peppered the crease with three more shots on goal during the next three minutes of playing time.
The Bullets held their biggest lead of the game when they scored with 37 seconds to play while Slack was out of the crease as the Fords were double-teaming in an attempt to get the possession back. Haverford made the score a 7-5 final as DeLeo tallied his 21st goal of the season off a pass from Girard with 18 seconds left in regulation.
The defense, which stifled the high-powered Gettysburg attack for most of the afternoon, was led by Max Ellis, Mitch Hagan, Anthony Vizzoni, and Colby Ferrigno as each caused a pair of turnovers. Chandler Todd and Slack each picked up a team-best five ground balls, while Ellis collected the possession on four other occasions.
Today's loss marked the final games for the Class of 2018 which carried the program to its first conference playoff appearance in seven years. While those 13 players will undoubtedly be missed, there is certainly reason for continued optimism with so many players from this roster returning for at least one more season.