SWARTHMORE, Pa. – The Haverford College men's soccer team got a 1-0 win over rival Swarthmore as Russell Nicholson went airborne to finish a header off of a corner kick in the 76th minute of play. That victory, coupled with a loss from Franklin & Marshall, gives Haverford the right to host the Centennial Conference Tournament for the third time in the last four seasons by virtue of finishing the regular season with the best conference record.
The No. 22 Fords (11-3-3, 8-1 CC) outshot the Garnet (7-10-1, 3-6 CC) by a commanding 21-9 margin. However, six saves from Swarthmore's Michael Thut denied the Fords the go-ahead goal until there was less than 15 minutes remaining in regulation.
During the opening 45 minutes of play, Haverford owned just an 8-7 advantage in shots. However, after winning 2-1 in overtime on a free kick during their most recent outing, the Fords had another chance at working their set piece magic in the 17th minute only to watch a shot from Will Corkery travel just high and wide of the net. In the 25th minute, Tejan Walcott's bid at the game's first goal was denied by a ricochet off the crossbar.
Haverford held a 6-4 edge in corner kick attempts on the evening. It would take the sixth and final attempt to find the game-winning goal. Nicholson was waiting on the far post and elevated over his defender for the nicely played ball by Max Krieg. Nicholson's goal was his first of the season. The junior now has six goals in his career, three of which have been game-winning efforts. Krieg was credited with his first assist of the season on the corner that found Nicholson.
Jeremy Astesano watched nine shots from the Garnet but a strong defensive effort did not allow any of those balls to get through. Corkery and Walcott each led the Fords with four shots on the day while Nicholson scored on his third and final shot of the match.
With home field advantage, the Fords will now await the winner of Wednesday's Centennial Conference first round game between No. 5 seed Dickinson and No. 4 seed Washington College. Haverford will play the winner of that match on Saturday, November 6 with No. 3 Johns Hopkins and No. 2 Franklin & Marshall contesting the other semifinal.