HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's soccer team gave chase early, but in the end were unable to keep the high-flying Falcons from 17th-ranked Messiah College off the scoreboard in a 4-0 non-conference defeat Wednesday afternoon at Walton Field.
The Fords (1-1) held Messiah (2-0-1) scoreless through the first 18 minutes of action but the visiting Falcons broke through at the 18:42 mark off a cross that was flicked back past Haverford goalkeeper Andriy Mshanetskyy.
Haverford's Colin Lubelczyk nearly knotted things with a terrific header in the game's 22nd minute but Messiah netminder Braden West snared the shot to hold the Fords at bay. The missed opportunity proved costly as the Falcons pushed ahead by two in the 23rd with their second goal of the afternoon.
Messiah netted a pair of second-half goals to put the game out of reach for the host Fords who had hoped to open the season with a two-game win streak following their season-opening victory on the road at Rosemont College.
"Messiah is always one of the best teams in the country and, despite the score, I was happy with the effort we put forth," said head coach Shane Rineer. "We have a big weekend ahead of us [hosting the Jimmy Mills Classic] and I'm confident we'll get back in the win column."
Day one of the Classic at Walton begins Saturday with the Fords entertaining Gwynedd-Mercy College in a 1 p.m. non-conference match-up. Ursinus College takes on Frostburg State in the day's second game. Haverford and Ursinus flip-flop opponents on Sunday with the Fords squaring off in the early, 1 p.m. outing.