Sindelar's Game-Winner Gives Women's Soccer Thrilling 2-1 Win Over No. 24 Haverford; Garnet Earn First-Round Bye
HAVERFORD, Pa. - Freshman Emma Sindelar scored the biggest goal of her young career, heading home the game-winner in the 86th minute of play to give the Swarthmore women's soccer team (12-5, 7-3) a dramatic 2-1 victory over No. 24 Haverford on Monday evening from Swan Field.
With the victory, the surging Garnet -- winners of five consecutive matches --secured the No. 3 seed and a first-round bye for the upcoming Centennial Conference playoffs, leapfrogging the Fords (11-2-4, 6-2-2) in the process. Swarthmore will face No. 2 seed Gettysburg in the Centennial Conference semifinals on Saturday from Johns Hopkins at a time to be determined.
With the Garnet ahead 1-0 following junior Ari Spiegel's ninth-minute goal, the Fords found the late equalizer the 80th minute, seemingly setting the stage for an intense overtime session. But the first-year sensation Sindelar had different plans, scoring her team-leading 11th goal of the season to give the Garnet its biggest win of the season thus far.
The twice-delayed contest between two fierce rivals certainly lived up to its billing. Swarthmore started off strong from the get-go, firing three shots on goal in the opening 10 minutes. Spiegel got the Garnet on the scoreboard, scoring her first goal of the season in the ninth minute to give Swat the early 1-0 lead.
From that point, the teams played fairly even soccer for the remainder of the half. Senior Marie Mutryn made three first-half saves to help Swarthmore preserve the 1-0 lead into the half.
In the second half, Haverford began to put pressure on the Garnet, picking up the tempo and firing off six shots before the Fords' Sarah Andrade scored to make the score 1-1 in the 80th minute.
But just when it appeared the game was heading to extra time, Swarthmore put together one last rally that proved to be the difference. After Swat had not recorded a shot for nine minutes, Sindelar fired and initially hit the crossbar before heading home the rebound in the 86th minute to put the Garnet ahead 2-1.
Mutryn came up huge between the pipes, making six saves, including one in the 87th minute following Sindelar's goal.
The victory was the Garnet's third against a ranked opponent in program history and first since a home win over No. 25 Dickinson in 2009.
The loss was just the Fords' second of the 2011 season; the other came at the hands of No. 1 seed Johns Hopkins
Swarthmore will now face No. 2 Gettysburg in the Centennial semifinals. In the two squads' previous meeting, the Bullets outlasted the Garnet in overtime by the score of 3-2.
The time of Saturday's semifinal will be announced by the Centennial Conference tomorrow morning.