SWARTHMORE, Pa. – Despite Saturday night's 2-0 Centennial Conference loss at No. 11 Swarthmore College, Haverford College's men's soccer team will head into the postseason as the No. 3 seed in the 2012 conference tournament which begins Wednesday with the No. 4 vs. No. 5 seed match-up.
Haverford (10-7/6-3 CC), which had scored three goals each in a pair of wins in its last two outings, wasn't able to find the back of the net against a Swarthmore (13-1-2/8-0-1) team that had been eliminated from playoff contention by the Fords in last season's final regular season game on the turf at Swan Field.
Saturday's win by the Garnet was keyed by an early goal from Brett McLarney, his first of the year, in the game's third minute. Swarthmore added an insurance marker in the early minutes of the second half then held off a Haverford attack that doubled its shot output from the opening 45 minutes of action.
The Fords got off six shots in the second stanza but five were blocked or just off the mark while one was stopped by Swarthmore goalie Peter Maxted who had come in in relief of starter Jake Tracy, who earned the win, late in the first half.
Andriy Mshanetskyy (9-5) finished with five saves, several times daringly coming off his line to keep the Fords within reach of the host Garnet.
Haverford, a finalist in last fall's conference tournament, returns to the semifinal round in 2012 at Swarthmore where they will take on Dickinson College, which the visiting Fords defeated 3-0 on October 6 earlier this season.
In the other semifinal, top seeded Swarthmore hosts the winner of the game between fourth-seeded Johns Hopkins University and No. 5 seed Franklin & Marshall College scheduled for Wednesday. The championship game between the semifinal winners is on Sunday at Swarthmore.
The trip into the Centennial postseason is just the second since the Fords joined the league in 1993. Last season's run into the championship round was obviously a first for the program. Earning a bye into the second round makes this just the second time Haverford will have played in a Centennial semifinal.