HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's lacrosse team will head into Centennial Conference play with momentum on its side after the Fords picked up a 16-10 victory over Gwynedd Mercy on Swan Field Wednesday afternoon. Haverford used big first and fourth quarters, outscoring the visiting Griffins 11-5 in those periods, to finish the non-conference portion of its schedule on a high note.
Sean Mowatt-Larssen scored a season-high five goals and assisted on another to pace Haverford's attack in the win. Stephen DeLeo and Ben Frost, who both entered the game tied with Mowatt-Larssen for the team lead in goals, also recorded hat tricks while Garret Trucksess netted a pair of goals. Frost also assisted on four goals while Rob McLallen dished out three assists in addition to his goal.
Gwynedd Mercy scored the game's first goal just 51 seconds in, but the Fords made the most their man-up chances early to run off the next four goals. DeLeo and Mowatt-Larssen both scored on the man advantage in the first quarter. Mowatt-Larssen's first two goals came just 42 seconds apart as the Fords jumped in front 4-1. Haverford finished the opening quarter a perfect 3-for-3 in man-up opportunities as Brian Geffroy converted that final opportunity off of a McLallen assist with 1:04 remaining in the first quarter as the Fords led 6-3 after 15 minutes.
The two sides battled to a level score during the second and third quarters as they each scored two more goals before the half and added three tallies in the third period. Following a quick start to the scoring in the opening quarter, DeLeo scored the first goal of the second after nearly seven and a half minutes of playing time. The Griffins cut the score to 7-5 with back-to-back goals, but Mowatt-Larssen answered that challenge with a goal just 1:24 before the half.
Mowatt-Larssen also opened the scoring in the third before three straight goals from Gwynedd Mercy made the game 9-8 and prompted a Haverford timeout. The Fords quickly regrouped following that reset as Blake Brinster and Frost each found the back of the cage to give the Fords an 11-8 lead heading to the fourth.
The Fords matched their largest lead of the afternoon with the first three goals of the fourth quarter. The senior trio of Frost, DeLeo, and McLallen scored in succession to put the Fords up 14-8 before the Griffins scored two goals during the final 2:20 of regulation time. However, the Fords got those back as Mowatt-Larssen took a feed from Ryan Tetro with 30 seconds to play. Just nine seconds later, Trucksess scored his second goal of the day on Mowatt-Larssen's assist.
Picking up the win in goal was Dylan Slack as he made 12 saves, five of which came in the fourth quarter to help his side maintain a steady lead. The Fords finished the game with a 46-34 advantage in shots as Griffins' goalie Aubron Swetley came up with nine saves.
Haverford also committed six fewer turnovers than Gwynedd Mercy. The Fords forced the Griffins into 13 of their 24 turnovers. Griffin Brooks was the only Ford to finish with multiple caused turnovers as 12 different Haverford players forced a giveaway throughout the game. Gwynedd Mercy was limited to just 12 successful clears in 19 attempts thanks to a determined Haverford defense. The Fords' man-up defense was also up to the challenge as it successfully killed all three Haverford penalties. Quinn Glabicki and Slack each scooped up five ground balls on defense as both teams finished with 40 in total.
Men's lacrosse will open Centennial Conference play at home this Saturday at 3 p.m. against McDaniel. That game is scheduled as part of a doubleheader with the women's contest that is set for a 12 p.m. start against the Green Terror.