2018-19 Season Preview
HAVERFORD, Pa. - Coming off an at-large NCAA tournament berth a season ago, the Haverford College women's basketball team begins the 2018-19 season with a clear goal and expectation: the Centennial Conference championship. The Fords have reached the Centennial Conference playoffs in each of the last seven seasons and will look to stretch that run to eight in 2018-19.
The season begins on Monday night at home against Immaculata (7 p.m.) as the Fords hope to build on a dominant stretch inside the Gooding '84 Arena. Haverford has gone 20-4 inside the friendly confines of the Gardner Integrated Athletic Center in the last two seasons. The overwhelming success at home has been aided by a staunch defensive effort that limited squads to just 47.5 points per game a season ago, a mark that ranked third in Division III.
The Fords will have a new look this season, with the graduation of Sierra Berkel and Samantha Wetzel. The talented forwards made a lasting impact, each reaching 1,000 career points and finishing with Haverford resumes that place them amongst the best to ever represent the program. With the absence of the frontcourt mainstays, Haverford features a versatile and robust group that can provide scoring up and down the roster, with an offensive effort that will be as balanced as it is deep.
Haverford retains plenty of veteran talent as guards Macy Goldbach and Katie Cook return for their senior seasons and ascend to the captaincy. Goldbach, an honorable mention All-Centennial selection a season ago, averaged 7.6 points per contest a season ago, and drained a team-best 42 shots from beyond the arc.
Cook (3.5 ppg) has emerged as one of the top distributors in the Centennial Conference, leading Haverford with 119 helpers a season ago. The total was the second-best in program single-season history and the Newburgh, N.Y. product is third in program history with 277 assists. Cook will pass Jessica Hurt '99 for second place with three assists on Monday evening.
Megan Furch (4.9 ppg), Anna-Sophia Capizzi (4.3 ppg), Maddie Gallic (4.6 ppg), and Hannah Zoll make up a junior class that is sure to be relied upon early and often with Furch and Zoll providing an inside presence while Gallic and Capizzi are versatile guards that can will help open up the game from the perimeter.
Julianna Clark (5.4 ppg), the reigning Centennial Conference Rookie of the Year, returns for her sophomore season after providing a spark down the stretch for Haverford in her initial foray into collegiate action. The Lancaster, Pa. product sank 36 three-pointers and shot 34 percent from beyond the arc. Clark had perhaps her best stretch of the season from January 31 to February 8, posting double-digit point totals in four-straight contests as the Fords faced stiff competion during the lead-up to playoff basketball. Nyla Robinson also saw plenty of meaningful minutes in her first season on campus, appearing as a reserve in 19 contests. The Fords, N.J. product will look to take on an expanded role in 2018-19.
First years center/forward Caroline Andersen (Wilmington, Mass.), guard Erica Fenton (Highland, Md.) and forward Lauren Howard (Williamstown, Mass.) will all figure to make an impact in their initial campaigns on campus.
In the annual preseason prognostication of conference coaches and SIDs, the Fords were booked for a return trip to the postseason, ranking fourth with a total of 146 voting points. Gettysburg was picked to repeat as conference champions.
The regular season begins with a home contest against Immaculata on Monday. The Fords are 8-6 all-time against the Mighty Macs and have won the last six matchups between the two programs dating back to 2011. The Fords then head to a familiar location, the Mayser Center on the campus of Franklin & Marshall, for the Terry Greene Tip-Off Classic. Haverford will face off with Washington & Lee and Elizabethtown on the final weekend before the Thanksgiving holiday. The Centennial Conference campaign opens at Ursinus on Tuesday, November 20.
A unique highlight of the schedule comes in January as the Fords will face off with a Division I opponent for the first time in program history on January 27. A Haverford squad will be making its first appearance at The Palestra, which has hosted more NCAA basketball games than any other venue, since the men's basketball team faced the Quakers on December 18, 1993. That matchup was the first for Haverford in the famed arena since 1932.