HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Haverford College women's lacrosse team (1-0) made the most of its opportunity to honor its senior class on Saturday afternoon, prevailing over Muhlenberg in an offensive showcase by a final score of 20-17 on Swan Field.
The Fords returned to competition for the first time in 416 days, and looked hungry to take down a Centennial Conference foe in their return to action. Junior Roma Hladky found the back of the net five times, while senior Hailey Morris reached the 100 points milestone with five goals of her own to go with two assists. Senior Julia Pascarella also added a pair of goals to a four-assist day as she teamed up with Morris on four occasions. Senior Amelia Slade made eight saves to pick up the win between the pipes before giving way to Sarah Cahn, who added six stops of her own. Hladky also added four ground balls, six draw controls, and three caused turnovers in a breakout effort. Morris joined senior Isabel Canning and Courtney Cubbin with a pair of ground balls and two caused turnovers, while senior Belle McMahon tallied a goal in the second half.
The contest became a frenetic offensive barrage between the two squads, as the sides combined for 37 goals and 90 shots in just 60 minutes of game action. Haverford tied its program record for shots in a single contest, a mark that has been reached four other times in school history, most recently in a 2007 contest against Kenyon.
The Fords raced out to a 7-3 lead to begin the contest, with a 4-0 run that included strikes from Callie Crawford, Hladky, Morris, and Pascarella putting an exclamation mark on a hot start. The Mules had an answer for the Haverford run, clawing back with a 6-0 spurt of their own to take a 9-8 lead with just 1:18 remaining in the first half. Hladky again was called upon in a key situation, tallying a goal with just 38 seconds remaining to knot the contest at 9-9 going into the halftime intermission.
The second half saw the teams largely trade runs with Katharine Ference and Sam Silverman giving the Fords a 16-13 cushion with back-to-back tallies that came at 18:29 and 17:36 to play, respectively. Taliah Carson broke that run for Muhlenberg, cutting the lead to two with a free-position goal, but Jordan Denaver, Silverman, and Crawford then rattled the back of the cage with consecutive strikes as the Haverford offense took on a methodical pace to take a four-goal lead with just 5:44 remaining in regulation.
Muhlenberg had a strong last stand in the closing minutes, with a 3-0 run to give the visitors designs on spoiling senior day, but Hladky tallied with zeroes showing on the clock to reflect the three-goal differential.
Carson was a standout for the visitors, with a game-high six goals on just seven shots, while Lexi Siegel was solid in goal with 13 saves for Muhlenberg. The Fords stifled the Mules attack all afternoon long, holding the visitors to just 11-for-18 in clears and causing 11 turnovers. The contest was a chance to honor the contributions of Canning, Cubbin, McMahon, Morris, Pascarella, and Slade as the senior leaders filled the scoresheet in a game that saw every eligible player on the roster see action.
Collectively, the class of 2021 participated in two Centennial Conference tournaments, reaching the semifinals in 2019, helped the Fords to a national ranking in the IWLCA Coaches' Poll, and notched the highest-ranked victory in program history over #3 TCNJ in 2019. The squad also led the Centennial Conference in Academic Honor Roll selections in each of the seniors' four years on campus and earned the Highest GPA in all of Division III Women's Lacrosse following the 2019 campaign.