HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford Women's Lacrosse team (12-4, 6-3 CC) has again qualified for the Centennial Conference tournament, returning to postseason play after narrowly missing a berth a season ago. The Fords have qualified for the Centennial Conference playoffs in three of the last four seasons overall and six of the last nine campaigns. The berth comes in Head Coach Katie Zichelli's first year at the helm of the program and in a season in which the Fords have eclipsed the 10-win plateau for the 15th time in program history.
The Fords will host Dickinson (8-8, 5-4 CC) in the First Round matchup Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. on Swan Field. The winner will advance to play against top-seeded Franklin & Marshall on Saturday afternoon in Lancaster, Pa. The semifinal matchup is slated to begin at noon.
The two squads last met at Swan Field on April 7, with the Fords posting a come-from-behind, 13-10 victory over the Red Devils despite trailing at the halftime intermission. Haverford erased a two-goal deficit at the break thanks in part to a five-goal day from junior Rina Rosnow, who matched a career best with the five tallies. A 5-0 run that spanned parts of both halves helped Haverford push past the visitors.
The Fords enter the contest with plenty of offensive firepower, as Rosnow and senior co-captain Molly Lausten as fourth and fifth, respectively, in the conference in overall goals. Sophomore Julia Manetta has continued to make an offensive impact as she ranks fourth in the conference in total assists. Manetta (2.2 assists per game) has made an impact on the national statistical rankings, notching the 45th-best assists-per-game output in NCAA Division III. Allie Gibbons (34 goals, 18 assists) and Kate Sollee (21 goals, 22 assists) are also an integral part of Haverford's offensive strategy and will be counted upon with regularity on Wednesday afternoon.
Haverford comes into the contest allowing just 15.88 turnovers per game, the 26th-best mark in the nation. Midfielders Olivia DiRienz and Sarah Svetec have set the tone for Haverford in the midfield, combining for 94 of the team's 215 draw controls.
Emily Krupnick was named Centennial Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday after helping anchor a backline that allowed just five goals to rival Swarthmore. The sophomore caused a career-best five turnovers in the matchup. Alyssa Sherman (21 caused turnovers), Anna Meyers (45 draw controls, 18 caused turnovers) and Noelle Smith (16 caused turnovers) are also key cogs defensively for the Fords. Rachel Romens has been a leader in goal for Haverford, posting a 10-3 individual record while allowing 11.61 goals per game and stopping 92 shots this season.
Gaining recognition and prominence through a 9-2 start to the season, the Fords achieved a national ranking for two consecutive weeks and were receiving votes in the previous four weeks of the IWLCA Division III National Coaches Poll. Haverford is currently riding a three-game winning streak to close the regular season, winning conference matchups against Ursinus, Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore.
Haverford will be looking to reverse an 11-6 loss to Dickinson on Swan Field in the first-round matchup in the 2016 postseason. In doing so, the Fords would reach the Centennial Conference semifinals for the first time since the 2015 season.
A live video stream and live stats for each game of the Centennial Conference women's lacrosse tournament will be made available via CentennialConference.tv. Fans are encouraged to visit the Centennial Conference Championship Central page for the latest updates on postseason play.