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Women's Soccer Set to Battle for Centennial Conference Championship

Lauren Nguyen
Lauren Nguyen

Centennial Conference Championship Central

Haverford postseason history

HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College women's soccer team has earned the No. 3 seed for the Centennial Conference Tournament. The Fords (12-3-2, 6-2-2 CC) will be making their fourth straight postseason appearance and open the tournament with a semifinal match against second-seeded Johns Hopkins (12-2-4, 6-1-3 CC) this Saturday at 3 p.m.

Dickinson (13-1-4, 8-0-2 CC) has earned the top seed in the tournament and will host the entire weekend's action with the championship match slated for 1 p.m. on Sunday. The Red Devils semifinal match against No. 4 Gettysburg (13-3-1, 6-3-1 CC) is slated for a 12 p.m. noon start on Saturday. Gettysburg defeated fifth-seed McDaniel by a 2-1 score on Wednesday night.

The Fords played Johns Hopkins to a 1-1 draw when these teams met back in the beginning of October. Haverford went up 1-0 just over 11 minutes into the match as Celia Page finished a pass from Leanne Ludwick. Haverford carried that 1-0 into the break, but the Blue Jays leveled the match during the 68th minute of play before the two teams could not break the tie over the final 42-plus minutes of action.

Ludwick finished the regular season ranked second in the Centennial Conference with 32 points (12 goals, 8 assists) while Page has scored 10 goals and added four more assists during her standout rookie campaign. Helping to set up those offensive attacks was Saede Eifrig as she is tied with Ludwick for second in the conference with eight assists.

Nevertheless, Haverford's offense if far from solely dependent on those players as 10 different Fords have scored a goal this season while 12 players have recorded an offensive point. Kendra Griesman has tallied five goals with each of those coming in the last 10 conference matches. Jaclyn Corbin has matched Eifrig's total with four goals off the bench, while Lauren Nguyen, Gabrielle Cipriano, and Mia Reyes have all found the back of the net on multiple occasions. Overall, Haverford brings the top-ranked offense into the tournament as the Fords have scored 44 goals this season, finding the back of the net on over 20% of their shots so far this season.

Not to be outdone, Haverford's defense is leading the Centennial Conference with 10 shutouts and is allowing just 0.63 goals per match. Three different players on Haverford's defense were named Centennial Conference Defensive Player of the Week this fall with Lindsay Wytkind (twice), Emily Thissen, and Hannah Friedrich all earning that recognition. Those three players, along with Kendall Ozorowski, have started all 17 matches while first-year Calais Irwin has started 14 matches. Overall, Haverford has had eight players who started all 17 matches while none of the regular starters have made less than 14 appearances in the starting XI.

Entering this weekend, Johns Hopkins has scored 37 goals which ranks second in the conference only to Haverford. The Blue Jays have the ability to create several opportunities throughout a match as they lead the conference in shots, shots on goal, and corner kick attempts. Eleven different players have scored a goal for Johns Hopkins, but Emily Maheras (12 goals) and Rachel Jackson (9 goals) account for nearly two-thirds of the team's offense. Jackson scored the game-tying goal during the regular season matchup with the Fords following up her own rebound that initially deflected off of the post.

Haverford will be making its 13th Centennial Conference Tournament appearance all-time. The Fords won the conference title in 1995 before the tournament was instituted and won the tournament championship during the 2012 season. That 2012 postseason run to the championship started with the Fords also entering that tournament as the No. 3 seed.

Four of the top seven teams in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region rankings are left standing heading into the weekend. The winner of this weekend's Centennial Conference Tournament will earn the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament while the remaining teams will need to wait out the announcement of at-large teams to the field prior to the selection show which will be broadcast on Monday, November 11 at 1 p.m.