HAVERFORD, Pa. – Saturday afternoon's 10-6 men's lacrosse win by No. 12 Haverford College over visiting Centennial Conference rival Swarthmore College allows the Fords to head into the postseason league tournament next weekend with momentum gained from, and within, the victory.
Haverford (11-3, 6-2 CC) raced out to a 5-1 lead over the Garnet (4-11, 2-6) through the first 15 minutes of action, but the tables turned drastically in the second quarter.
Swarthmore limited the Fords to just a single shot—with 1:10 left in the quarter—while it rebounded offensively with three goals to pull within one, 5-4, as the teams headed into the halftime intermission.
The quarter could have been worse if Haverford goalkeeper Joe Banno hadn't come up with four saves, and his defensive mates hadn't kept the Garnet's other seven shots from being clean attempts directed toward Banno.
Momentum still hung around Swarthmore's neck in the third as they tied the game at 5-5 on Brendan Conway's goal halfway through the period. Max Hjelm turned the tide of the game for Haverford, though, with a pair of goals in span of 127 seconds, which allowed the offense to escape from a turnover affliction they'd been suffering from since taking that 5-1 lead early in the contest.
The Fords suffered through 17 turnovers on 18 consecutive possessions between the fifth goal and Hjelms' score at 2:53 of the third. In that span Haverford got off only four shots leaving Banno and the defense to hold down the fort.
Once awakened, the Fords' attack began to gel again as it outscored Swarthmore 5-1 over the final 18 minutes of the game.
Hjelm and Myles Monaghan finished with a team-high three goals apiece in the win while four other Fords scored one goal each.
In the defensive third, Banno finished with 17 saves to earn the victory in goal for Haverford. Defenders Dillon Hamill and Scott Kelley combined to register eight of the team's 10 caused turnovers and the Fords held Swarthmore's extra-man opportunities to an 0-for-5 day.
Swarthmore's Jonathan Cohen took the loss after allowing all 10 Haverford goals and making just one save.
The men's lacrosse win over Swarthmore increases Haverford's lead, 10.5-3.5, in the Hood Trophy competition between the two schools. The Fords clinched the 2010-11 trophy with baseball's sweep of the Garnet in early April.
The Centennial tournament lies ahead for the Fords who will enter the playoffs with the No. 3 seed and will take on No. 2 Gettysburg College Friday afternoon in Carlisle, Pa., at host and regular season champion Dickinson College.