SWARTHMORE, Pa. – The Haverford College women's soccer team is headed back to the Centennial Conference Tournament following a 1-1 draw against rival Swarthmore on Saturday night. The Fords (8-5-3, 5-3-2 CC) struck early as Katie Safter put her side up 1-0 during the 30th minute of play. No. 21 Swarthmore (13-2-2, 7-1-2 CC) answered back with just 3:53 remaining in regulation time; however, the two rivals followed that up by playing a pair of scoreless extra sessions. The tie against the nationally-ranked Garnet gave Haverford its 17th point of the regular season and firmly entrenched them into a playoff spot.
Coming into the night, the Fords knew they controlled their own playoff destiny and wasted little time taking matters into their own hands. Haverford had a great chance early on with a corner, only to see a header from Kendra Griesman miss to the right of the goal. However, Safter made the most of the Fords' second chance as she scored her team-leading fifth goal of the season by drilling a hard volley right off of the Garnet keeper's outstretched hands and into the back of the net.
With the lead and a playoff berth well within their grasp, the Fords' defense shut down the Garnet for over 86 minutes. Anchored by Julie Hanss, who finished the match with seven saves – several of the impressive variety, Haverford frustrated one of the top offenses in the Centennial Conference for much of the night. Hanss' performance on Saturday came after she stopped a combined 17 shots in the two times Haverford met Swarthmore a season ago.
On multiple occasions, Haverford's back line of Abby Crowley, Emily Thissen, Lindsay Wytkind, and Kelly Brown thwarted numerous opportunities and contained the Centennial Conference's leading scorer. The only blemish on an otherwise stellar outing for the defense came during the 87th minute when Marin McCoy got in front of a pass on the left post and was able to find the back of the net.
The first overtime saw the Fords put Swarthmore under pressure late in the initial extra period. A shot from Hannah Krapes was blocked out of bounds, prompting a Haverford corner kick. Grace Mathis had a chance following that play, but saw her shot saved by Swarthmore's Chantal Reyes, a second half substitute. Hanss was also called on to make one save in the extra time. Neither side was able to create a substantial attack during the final 10 minute period.
With its playoff position now firmly secured, Haverford will get the chance to avenge an overtime defeat against Dickinson as the Red Devils finished the regular season in fourth place. The Fords will make the trip to Carlisle on Wednesday. Game times for the entire Centennial Conference Tournament will be announced on Monday morning. With these teams meeting just two weeks ago, it took overtime to settle the score before Dickinson tallied during the first overtime period during a 1-0 victory on Walton Field. If the Fords are able to avenge that loss this coming week, they will move into the Centennial Conference semifinals at Johns Hopkins on Saturday.