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Men's Soccer Keeps Playoffs Hope Alive with Thrilling 3-2 Victory vs. Ursinus

HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's soccer team twice overcame a second half deficit before finally emerging with a 3-2 victory over visiting Ursinus on Wednesday afternoon. After a scoreless first 45 minutes, Haverford cranked up the intensity with its chance at the playoffs potentially on the line and answered both of those goals before netting the game-winner during the 86th minute of play.

The opening half saw the two sides combine for 17 shots on the slippery field, with the Fords accounting for 10 of those attempts. However, neither side was able to find the back of the net to show for their respective efforts. Haverford finished the match with a 9-1 advantage in corner kicks, but 14 saves from Bears' goalie Tyler Lewin kept his side in the match all afternoon. Lewin made eight of his saves during the opening half to keep the Fords off the board.

Ursinus was the first to crack the scoreboard as their leading goal scorer, Braden Burns, was able to get around the Fords defense. His shot ricocheted off a Haverford defender and bounced over Haverford keeper Michael Iacono who was in position to cover the low shot before it was deflected into the air and eventually found the back of the net.

The Bears held that lead for nearly 20 minutes, but the Fords were not going to go down without a fight as they racked up 18 shots over the final 45 minutes of play. Those efforts were finally rewarded with just under 23 minutes to play as the Fords capped off a streak of three rapid fire shots to level the match. Brian Lorenz saw his first attempt blocked by the defense, but the rebound went to Paul-Andre Coulibaly. Coulibaly saw his shot saved by the keeper, but Rodrigo Zuniga was in position finally to cap the scramble inside the 18.

Ursinus regained the lead as Jacob Helwig followed his shot to goal and was rewarded for his efforts with Ursinus also tallying off a rebound. Nevertheless, Haverford turned to the reigning Centennial Conference Player of the Year just 22 seconds later as Nick Jannelli finished a cross from Zuniga to even the match at two. Zuniga's three-point evening was a career high for the senior who now has two goals and an assist this season.

Haverford took the lead for the first time all afternoon with its third goal coming with just 4:14 showing on the game clock. Making the most of the ninth and final corner attempt, the ball bounced around inside of the 18 before Jannelli found Matthieu Maciejewski for the first goal since his rookie campaign. Fittingly enough, Maciejewski's other goal also came in game-winning fashion against these same Bears during the 2017 season.

After recording the game-tying goal and game-winning assist, Jannelli now has a Centennial Conference leading 28 points with 11 goals and seven assists this season. His latest goal gives him 45 during his career as he moved into a tie with Evan Jones '49 for fourth in program history. Jannelli also has 22 career assists to rank ninth in school history for a total of 112 career points.

Haverford finished the match with a 28-15 advantage in shots. Seven different players recorded multiple shots in the victory, led by Jannelli's eight attempts. However, the game-winner ultimately belonged to Maciejewski who made the most of his lone opportunity from his usual defensive role. Iacono made five saves in goal for the Fords on the wet grass to record his fifth win of the season.

Today's result sets up an amplified Senior Day for the Fords who will battle rival Swarthmore on Saturday in a match that is slated for a 2:30 p.m. start. With results still coming in throughout the conference tonight, the winner of Saturday's rivalry match will guarantee itself a spot in the Centennial Conference Tournament.