HOBOKEN, N.J. – The Haverford College men's soccer team, a squad receiving votes in the NSCAA preseason poll, went toe-to-toe with No. 21 Stevens Saturday afternoon, falling just short as the hosts scored with 3:19 left in regulation time for the eventual 3-2 victory.
The Fords held a 2-1 lead after Will Corkery found the back of the net just 59 seconds into the second half of play off a pass from Brady Seitz. The duo of Seitz and Corkery reversed their roles from the first half of the contest as Seitz scored an early equalizer in the 30th minute. However, the Fords were unable to find an answer defensively for Steven's Carson Pickens as the Ducks' forward tallied his second career hat trick to lead his team to victory.
Pryor was no doubt the Ducks' top target in the game as he finished the contest with 11 shots. The Fords had their defense seemingly focused on Pryor after he sent an early corner kick chance over the crossbar on a header attempt. Following that initial run at goal, the Haverford defense knocked down three successive shots from the Ducks' go-to player during a span of 11 seconds. Pryor also sent a second shot over the crossbar in the 18th minute of play.
However, Pryor eventually found his next chance in the 24th minute on a loose ball in the box that he was able to get a foot on for the finish and unassisted tally. Nevertheless, Haverford turned to its power duo from a season ago in Seitz and Corkery to level the game. In the 30th minute, the Centennial Conference's leading goal scorer during the regular season a year ago finished a loose ball in Stevens' box. This play came off a corner from Corkery, the Centennial assist leader a season ago. Seitz's goal was his first of the season, while Corkery's helper was also his first of the season. The equalizer was the final scoring of the opening half as the teams played the first 45 minutes to a 1-1 draw.
That score did not stay level for long into the second half. Reversing their customary roles, Seitz drew the defense's attention with the early possession to start the second half. With the defense drawn to him, Seitz found Corkery at the top of the box. Corkery proceeded to bury his take past the keeper and give his team a 2-1 advantage.
The 2-1 edge stood for just 2:44 of playing time as Pryor broke loose on a double assist pass from his teammates in the 49th minute for his second goal of the game. With the score now even again at two-all, the teams each took offensive spurts to try and find the potential game winner. Haverford pushed forward with the first chances to go ahead, but were whistled for an off sides shortly after the tying goal. The Fords also watched a shot off a corner get saved and another take travel high of the crossbar. Stevens countered with a ball the bounced off the post, a shot that was blocked down, and a shot that traveled over the crossbar during the 68th minute of play.
Following that strong offensive push from the Ducks, a save off a corner attempt by Sam Miller in the 73rd minute restored order for Haverford on the offensive end. Ryan Hill had his run at the game winner stopped in 79th minute. In the span of the 80th through 83rd minutes, Haverford also had a shot travel wide, get blocked, and sail over the crossbar. Shortly after the Fords' latest charge at net, the play transitioned to the Ducks' forwards and Pryor finished his hat trick in the 87th minute when he took possession in the middle of the box and found space around the keeper for the eventual game-winning goal.
The Fords had two chances to force the overtime session, but Tejan Walcott had his shot saved in the 88th minute before a final shot from Sam Yarosh cleared the crossbar with just 16 seconds left in the contest. Yarosh and Walcott each finished with three shots on the afternoon for the Fords as seven other players recorded a single shot. In net, Sam Miller made four saves on the afternoon as he faced a total of 18 shots for the match.
Men's soccer will now face a quick turnaround as it travels to Rosemont tomorrow evening for a 6 p.m. match before almost a full week away from competition in anticipation of its next home date.