HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's lacrosse team dropped a heart-breaking 8-7 final to Eastern in its home opener Saturday afternoon on Swan Field. In an always-tough matchup between the two schools, the Fords rallied from a 4-1 first quarter deficit and tied the game late in the second quarter. Nevertheless, the Eagles scored with 11 seconds remaining in the final period to come away with the hard-fought victory.
First-year Wyatt Feinberg led the Fords with two goals and an assist as five different players tallied in the game for Haverford. Feinberg's first goal of the game came just under five minutes into the contest as both teams found much more success in the attacking zone during the opening half. Feinberg's second goal of the year, which came in unassisted fashion, snapped Eastern's quick 2-0 run to lead off the game. However, the Eagles scored two late in the first period and held a 4-1 lead after 15 minutes.
After six scoreless minutes to start the second quarter, Feinberg set up co-captain Rob McLallen to make the score 4-2 with 8:59 to play before the half. Feinberg then scored his third goal of the season just two minutes later, cutting the lead to a single goal. Eastern answered that latest challenge with a goal, but Haverford scored three times during the final four minutes of the first half to take a 6-5 lead into the halftime break.
First-year Sean Mowatt-Larssen scored his first career goal and brought the Fords back within a single goal off the feed from Stephen DeLeo's second helper of the young season. DeLeo then knotted the game at five with 1:35 remaining before the half on the man-up advantage. McLallen also dished out the assist, his second of the afternoon, on that effort. Brian Geffroy's first goal of the year came with just 55 seconds remaining in the half to give the home side a 6-5 advantage.
Goals were much harder to come by in the second half as the two goalies combined for 11 saves over the final 30 minutes while conceding just four goals. Eastern had the only goal of the third quarter, needing a man-up chance to tie the game at six heading into the final period. Ben Frost took matters into his own hands just under three minutes into the fourth as he scooped a ground ball in the midfield and took it himself all the way for an unassisted goal. The visiting Eagles answered that latest Haverford lead as a goal from team leader Mark Buanic with 9:33 to play in regulation leveled the game at seven.
The Fords certainly created a number of chances down the stretch, but four saves from Eastern goalie Brett McDonald kept Haverford off the scoreboard in the final nine minutes. The Eagles were finally able to capitalize on their final possession as Sean Fechter's first goal of the season proved to be the difference. The Eagles also won the next face-off, preventing Haverford from any last second heroics in the attacking end.
Eastern finished the contest with a 47-35 advantage in shots, but Dylan Slack anchored a solid defensive effort as he stopped 15 shots on Saturday. Twelve of those attempts came in the opening half as Haverford was rallying from the early deficit. The Fords' defense also forced half of Eastern's 18 turnovers. DeLeo was a force in that respect as well, creating four of those giveaways as the Eagles were successful on just 17 of their 23 clearing attempts. Zack Cohen finished with a strong showing at the face-off X as he won 11-of-18 restarts.
Men's lacrosse will now look towards its first two-game week of the season as the Fords are back on the road Wednesday for a 7 p.m. game under the lights at Stockton. Haverford will return home next Saturday to start a string of six straight home dates when they welcome Randolph-Macon to Swan Field.