HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's soccer team pulled out a thrilling victory in its Centennial Conference opener on Saturday with a 3-2 win against Johns Hopkins. The Fords (3-1-2, 1-0 CC) led 2-0 after 25 minutes thanks to a pair of goals from Nick Jannelli. However, it was not until Jannelli's shot off the post found the feet of fellow freshman Peter Baroff for the game-winning goal with just 3:05 left in regulation.
Jannelli certainly made an impression in his Centennial Conference debut as the freshman recorded his first multi-goal game for his second and third goals of the season. Jannelli then assisted on the final goal of the afternoon for his team-leading eighth point as Peter Baroff recorded his third goal of the season to tie for the team lead.
The Fords put the Blue Jays under stress early with three shots and a couple of corner kick attempts in the first 10 minutes of action. Just a couple minutes later, Jannelli took a pass from Russell Nicholson at the top of the 18 and ripped home a shot to the left post during the 13th minute of play. Nicholson's assist was his team-leading third of the season.
Just under 13 minutes after the initial goal, Haverford had another prime opportunity to score as Johns Hopkins was whistled for a foul about 30 yards outside of goal. Dorian Wirz played the initial ball into the box and found Maclyn Willigan for the first touch. Instead of electing for the shot through traffic, Willigan showed great patience and played a perfectly touched ball to Jannelli for the 2-0 advantage. Wirz recorded his second assist of the season on the play while the assist was the first of the year for Willigan.
Johns Hopkins began to find its footing offensively as the two sides finished with exactly seven shots in the first half. The Blue Jays broke through on the scoreboard in the 35th minute when a turnover in the defensive third led to a goal from Arden Chew. The Blue Jays found their equalizer in the second half when Achim Younker headed home his third goal of the season to knot the game with just under 32 minutes left in regulation time.
The two sides continued to battle back-and-forth with the score knotted at two-all. Haverford finished the game with a 13-12 advantage in shots. However, it would turn out to be a lucky number 13 that brought Haverford the conference win.
Initially, it looked as though Jannelli was headed for a hat trick as his shot beat the keeper on the hard angle but grazed the post. Nevertheless, a fortuitous bounce came right back to Baroff who was crashing the far post. He outpaced the defense and finished for the eventual 3-2 win. Johns Hopkins did have one last shot in regulation but that attempt was blocked down by the Haverford defense.
Sam Miller was called on to make six saves over the course of the afternoon. His counterpart, Bryan See, made three saves on the Fords' five shots on goal. Jannelli finished with a game-high five shots. Baroff's goal came on his only shot of the afternoon.
With today's result, the Fords have now won 12 straight Centennial Conference regular season games on Walton Field. That streak is tied for the third longest in program history as the Fords also won 12 straight Middle Atlantic Conference games from the 1942 through 1946 seasons. The 12 wins are the most consecutive wins Haverford has had at home since joining the Centennial Conference. The program record of 19 straight conference was set as members of the MAC during the 1952-1955 seasons.
Men's soccer will be back on the road this Wednesday as the team travels to Stockton for another night game that is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. The Fords will then close out the month of September with CC battles against McDaniel and Washington College.