ALLENTOWN, Pa. – It was a complete flip of the script for the Haverford College men's soccer team on Saturday evening. The Fords (8-5, 3-3 CC) had just scored three straight goals to take a 3-1 lead after conceding the initial goal to Muhlenberg, Haverford held that lead all the way up until there was just over 17 minutes remaining in regulation. After watching the Fords score three straight goals, the Mules (9-1-2, 4-1-1 CC) scored three of their own with the game-winning goal coming with 3:31 left in the game, sending Haverford to a heartbreaking 4-3 defeat.
Muhlenberg opened the scoring in the 33rd minute when Anthony Carracino collected his own rebound off an initial save from Sam Miller. Carracino knocked home the rebound, giving his team a 1-0 lead. Haverford answered that first half tally in the 41st minute off a corner kick. Playing the first corner of the game, Will Corkery found Tejan Walcott for the finish on the far post after getting past all of the traffic in front of the goal.
The halftime break did not seem to slow the Haverford offense as just under five minutes into the second half Walcott scored his second goal of the contest. This goal also came off a set piece as Maclyn Willigan played a long ball from Haverford's defensive side of the field. His feed was beautifully skimmed off of Sam Yarosh's head and past the defense where Walcott was there for the finish and his second goal of the game and sixth of the season.
The Fords made it three straight goals in the 63rd minute when Ben Field found Russell Nicholson inside the box. Nicholson beat the keeper for his third goal of the season. However, just when it appeared the Fords were cruising and had control of the game, the Mules found their second wind and went on a 3-0 run of their own to grab victory from what looked like a certain defeat.
Haverford held that 3-1 lead in to the 73rd minute of play. However, with 17:06 left in regulation time Travis Wantcheckon tallied an unassisted goal to bring his team within a single goal. The Fords appeared to have a 4-2 lead in hand during the 77th minute when Field gathered possession at the top of the 18 with the Muhlenberg keeper out of his net. Field lofted the ball over the keeper but a diving header for the Mules' defense kept the game at a single goal deficit, a team save that loomed large at the final buzzer.
Muhlenberg tied the game in the 84th minute on a penalty kick. Miller came up with what appeared to be a great stop, but Willigan was whistled on a delayed call for a foul in the box after the ball deflected off of Miller and out of harm's way. That penalty sent Willigan off the field with a red card and knotted the game at three-all when Lance Dotzman converted the free chance.
The Mules completed the stunning comeback just under three minutes after tying the game when the Fords appeared to have the left wing covered with a double team. However, the two Haverford defenders clipped heels and both hit the turf. Those two players going down left Phil Rahling to finish to the far post for the game-winning goal. Haverford had three final shots within 90 seconds after falling behind, but could not beat the Muhlenberg defense for the fourth time.
After this gut-wrenching loss, the Fords have will a full week to prepare for No. 6 Franklin & Marshall next Saturday. The Diplomats are currently one of two remaining unbeaten teams (Dickinson) in conference play. Haverford is currently in sole possession of fourth place with three matches left on the conference slate.