HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's soccer team moved into the Centennial Conference Championship match with a 1-0 victory over Dickinson on Saturday afternoon. The top-seeded Fords (13-4) got a goal from Peter Baroff during the 53rd minute to defeat fourth-seeded Dickinson (11-6-2) in the semifinals of the conference tournament.
With the victory, Haverford advances to Sunday's championship match where it will meet third-seeded Franklin & Marshall at 1 p.m. on Walton Field. The Diplomats advanced to the championship game with a 2-0 victory over Johns Hopkins during the second semifinal. The Fords improved to a Centennial Conference-best 11-4 all-time in the conference tournament with the victory. The Fords are now 6-1 all-time as the tournament's top seed and 6-1 overall in semifinal matches.
Haverford had the aid of the wind during the opening half and racked up a 6-5 advantage in shots during the first 45 minutes of play. However, three saves from Dickinson keeper Frederick Meagher kept Haverford off the board. Michael Iacono made his only save of the first half just under seven minutes into the contest. That stop, coupled with the Fords' defense successfully defending five corner kicks that the Red Devils earned in the first half, sent the teams scoreless into the break. The Fords did appear to have a goal in the 38th minute as Baroff beat the Dickinson defense, but saw that play called back due to being in an offside position.
Nevertheless, Baroff would still have the final say even though he would need to wait until the second half to do so. With a heads up play by Michael Carr to catch the Dickinson defense regrouping on a throw-in, the senior captain's quick restart found Baroff inside of the 18. When the keeper came out to challenge, Baroff was able to dribble around the goalie and find the back of the net around three Red Devil defenders waiting to knock the ball down on the end line. Baroff's goal was the sixth of his season and 11th of his career. Three of Baroff's six goals this season have been game-winning efforts.
Even with the aid of the wind during the second half, Dickinson was only able to manage just two shots and one corner attempt for the rest of regulation time. The Red Devils' best chance came during the 68th minute when Colin Fagan found some space in the Haverford defense, but his shot went wide of the net. Iacono made his only save of the second half during the 80th minute, stopping an attempt from Ward Van de Water as that would be the final chance for Dickinson on the afternoon.
Haverford will be making its sixth trip to the Centennial Conference Championship match, all of which have come in the past eight seasons. The Fords made it in 2011 and 2012 before a run of three straight title game appearances from 2014-16. Haverford won Centennial Conference Championships in 2012, 2015, and 2016. The last two championships came when the Fords were hosting the tournament on Walton Field.
The Fords will be meeting Franklin & Marshall for the fourth time in Centennial Conference Tournament history on Sunday. Haverford defeated the Diplomats in each of those previous three meetings with a 3-2 victory in the first round of the 2011 tournament, a 2-0 win during the 2014 semifinals, and a 2-1 victory on Walton Field during the 2016 championship match. Sunday's 1 p.m. match will also be Haverford's chance to avenge its only conference loss of the regular season as the Diplomats emerged a 2-1 winner in overtime during the regular season meeting between these two sides.