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Women's Soccer Held off by Randolph-Macon in NCAA Tournament, 2-0

Leanne Ludwick
Leanne Ludwick

Post-match interview with senior captains Lindsay Wytkind and Leanne Ludwick

GRANTHAM, Pa. – A highly successful 2019 season came to a close on Saturday afternoon as the Haverford College women's soccer team fell by a 2-0 score against Randolph-Macon in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Fords (12-5-2) were seemingly knocking on the doorstep of the Yellow Jackets' (21-0-1) goal all afternoon, but could not find that elusive goal despite their best efforts over the 90 minutes.

Haverford finished with a 16-14 advantage in shots and an 8-7 edge in shots on goal, but a combined shutout – featuring several spectacular saves – from the Randolph-Macon keepers moved them into the second round where RMC will face Messiah on Sunday. Messiah was a 5-0 winner against Lesley in the pod's first match on Saturday.

Although the Yellow Jackets got four shots off in the opening six minutes, Hannah Friedrich stepped up to make a pair of saves to keep the game scoreless as the other shots were off target. The Fords had the first great chance of the afternoon as Leanne Ludwick got in behind the Yellow Jacket defense but saw her shot bounce off the crossbar. Saede Eifrig was perfectly positioned to gather the rebound, but sent her shot over the crossbar. Ludwick had another shot later in the first half saved during the 16th minute of play.

Even though it seemed as if the Fords had the quality chances throughout much of the first half, Randolph-Macon was the first team to crack the scoreboard as Casey Kent played a cross into the box that was finished by Tyria Smalls during the 32nd minute of play. Haverford's best chance to level the match before the break came as Jaclyn Corbin got loose inside the 18 with just under seven minutes remaining before the break. Nevertheless, her shot was also saved by RMC's Christina Newman.

Pressuring even harder for the equalizer in the second half, the Fords racked up a 10-6 advantage in shots (6-3 edge in shots on goal) over the final 45 minutes. Unfortunately for the Fords, the Yellow Jackets were able to capitalize on those limited opportunities and made the score 2-0 with just over 21 minutes to play. Friedrich initially denied the scoring chance from Gabby Nelson, but Nicole Czyzewski was in position to hammer home the rebound and put an insurance tally on the board.

The Fords put two saves on goal in just over a minute's time starting in the 73rd, with Alyssa Saito seeing two of her attempts denied. Griesman later watched her shot attempt get saved during the 75th minute as seemingly all of the action was happening in the Fords' attacking third.

Only a spectacular save from Randolph Macon's second half keeper Edye Carr denied Celia Page a goal for Haverford during the 84th minute of game action. Lindsay Wytkind recorded the final shot on goal of the match, but Carr made her sixth and final stop of the half to preserve the shutout with just over five minutes remaining.

Friedrich finished with five saves for the Fords. Eight different players recorded a shot for Haverford, led by Griesman's four attempts. Page had three shots while Ludwick, Saito, and Marina Piccolo all finished with two attempts.

With today's result, the Fords' 2019 season comes to a close with a record of 12-5-2. Those 12 victories represent the most for Haverford since the 2012 Centennial Conference Championship season. Today's match was also the final in the careers of seniors Kendra Griesman, Julie Hanss, Leanne Ludwick, Abby Singer, Kelsey Smith, and Lindsay Wytkind. Haverford's senior class combined for 39 victories and made it to the postseason during each of their four seasons. This year's NCAA Tournament appearance was the first since the 2013 season at Haverford.