Field Hockey's Playoff Hopes Dashed as Haverford Rallies to Defeat Garnet, 3-1
HAVERFORD, Pa. - It was a cruel ending to a breakthrough season for the Swarthmore College field hockey team (8-10, 5-5) as the Garnet -- needing a victory to advance to the Centennial Conference playoffs for the first time since 2000 -- fell to rival Haverford by the score of 3-1 on Sunday afternoon from Swann Field.
After a pair of goals in the opening four minutes of play, the back-and-forth battle remained tied at 1-1 until the final 10 minutes of play. In the 60th minute, Haverford pulled ahead as Juliana Morgan-Trostle's goal off a penalty corner gave the Fords' the 2-1 lead. Just four minutes later, the Fords put to rest any thoughts of a Garnet comeback, scoring again to bring the game to its 3-1 final.
With the victory, the Fords(10-7, 6-4) advance to the Centennial Conference playoffs as the No. 4 seed.
Junior Katie Teleky scored the Garnet's goal in the third minute of play off an assist from freshman Beth Johnson.
The do-or-die game started off with a flurry. Swarthmore scored on its first shot of the contest, as Teleky scored her seventh goal of the season off an assist from Johnson to give the Garnet the early 1-0 lead. Just 69 seconds later, Haverford's Mary Hobbs -- one of the Centennial Conference's most prolific goal scorers -- scored to make it a 1-1 game exactly four minutes into play.
Despite early indications, the game turned out to be anything but a shootout. Following the opening minutes, each team's defense settled down and the two squads battled through an evenly-played match that remained tied 1-1 through the first half.
The Garnet had its fair share of chances to take the lead in the second half. Freshman Abby Lauder (48th minute), junior captain Sophia Agathis (52nd minute) and Johnson (55th minute) all put shots on target only to be thwarted by Haverford goalie Sydney Hyder.
After 60 minutes of even play, things began to unravel for Swat in the final 10 minutes. Haverford scored in 60th minute off a penalty corner and again in the 64th minute to pull away for the 3-1 win.
Sophomore goalie Gabriella Capone came up big for the Garnet in key spots, finishing the game with four saves.
Swarthmore finished with a 9-7 edge in shots-on-goal, including four from Agathis.
The tough loss and heartbreaking ending to the season certainly sting, but it does not diminish a tremendous year for the Garnet; Swarthmore's five Centennial Conference wins in 2011 equals its total Centennial wins in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 seasons combined.