HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's soccer team will start the 2019 season sitting just outside of the top 25 nationally as the Fords are receiving votes in the preseason poll which was released by the United Soccer Coaches. Haverford was also receiving votes in this poll to close the 2018 season which resulted in the team's third Centennial Conference Championship in four years (fourth overall) and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Haverford is joined in the preseason national rankings by No. 17 Franklin & Marshall and No. 22 Johns Hopkins. The Fords defeated F&M, 3-2 in overtime, to capture the 2018 Centennial Conference Championship on Walton Field. That postseason result against the Diplomats avenged Haverford's only regular season conference defeat from a year ago which was also an overtime battle on the road. The Fords beat a then-No. 21 Johns Hopkins squad 1-0 on Walton Field during the 2018 regular season while the Blue Jays fell to F&M in the Centennial Conference semifinals.
The Fords will battle those nationally-ranked sides early in the Centennial Conference slate. The CC opener will be on the road against Johns Hopkins on Saturday, September 21. The Fords' second conference battle will see the team host F&M the following Saturday, September 28.
By virtue of winning the Centennial Conference in 2018, the Fords advanced to the NCAA Tournament with an automatic bid and made their seventh NCAA appearance all-time before falling in penalty kicks against NYU. Haverford finished the 2018 season with an overall record of 14-4-1, including an 8-1 record in Centennial Conference regular season matches.
Haverford graduated a 10 member senior class from last season which was instrumental in helping the team win three conference championships over their four-year careers. Nevertheless, the Fords do return third-team All-American and reigning Centennial Conference Player of the Year Nick Jannelli alongside forward and Centennial Conference Tournament MVP Peter Baroff. Goalkeeper Michael Iacono was also a first-team All-Centennial Conference for the Fords a season ago. That trio of seniors will serve as team captains for the 2019 season.
Men's soccer officially opens the 2019 season on Friday, August 30 at home against Cabrini at 4:30 p.m. The Fords will play their first five matches of the year at home, including the annual Jimmy Mills Tournament which is slated for Saturday, September 7 and Sunday, September 8.