Haverford vs. Swarthmore
April 25, 2009
The Game Story:


HAVERFORD, Pa. A four goal outburst in the opening seven minutes of the third quarter erased a three goal halftime deficit and propelled regular season Centennial Conference (CC) champion Haverford College (12-2, 8-0 CC) to a 9-7 victory over Swarthmore College (6-8, 3-5 CC) in front of over 300 fans on a perfect Saturday afternoon at Swan Field.

The 10th-ranked Fords trailed a Garnet squad that was fighting for a postseason conference tournament spot by a 4-1 score at the halfway point in the game.

Travis Gregory started the third quarter roll for Haverford scoring just 12 seconds after the opening face-off win by teammate Kiley Norton to cut the Swarthmore lead in half.

Phil Valliant, Zach Cohen and Jason Leeds would all follow with goals over the next six-plus minutes to put Haverford in front for the first time in the game.

Gregory scored again with five minutes left in the quarter to up the lead to two, the game's eventual final margin.

Leeds and Gregory each scored twice in the Haverford victory and Leeds added an assist on Valliant's third quarter score to finish with a three-point game.

Stelios Wilson led the Garnet with two goals in the loss.

Haverford goalkeeper Joe Banno earned the win making seven saves while Swarthmore's Kevin Friedenberg took the loss registering 14 saves for the Garnet.

Haverford held a decided edge in face-offs coming away with 14 of the 20 in the game. Norton was a near perfect 9-for-10 for the Fords. And though out shot 13 to 12 in the first half, the Fords turned that around and finished with a 36-28 edge in total shots for the game.

The Haverford victory marks the first time ever that the Fords have finished a Centennial slate with an unbeaten mark. The highest number of conference victories the Fords have ever posted before in the Centennial was six in both the 2008 and 2006 season.

As the top seed in the league, the Fords will be hosting the 2009 Centennial postseason tournament on Friday, May 1, and Sunday, May 3, at Swan Field.

Haverford will take on fourth-seed McDaniel College at 1:30 p.m. on Friday followed by second-seed Gettysburg versus third-seed Washington College at 4 p.m.

The winners of the semifinal match-ups will play in Sunday's final, set for a 1 p.m. start.