GWYNEDD VALLEY, Pa. – The Haverford College men's lacrosse team continued its strong defensive presence with a 5-1 win at Gwynedd Mercy on Wednesday afternoon. The latest win gives the Fords (4-1) four straight victories for the first time since the 2012 season.
Dylan Slack stopped seven of the eight shots on goal he faced to help the Fords hold an opponent under two goals for just the seventh time in program history. The defensive effort was the strongest end result since an 18-0 shutout of Eastern during the 2007 season. The Fords have now allowed just one goal in a game on four occasions (1976 vs. Stevens Tech, 1993 vs. FDU-Madison, and 2002 vs. Susquehanna). Just three times have the Fords posted a shutout in school history.
The Griffins turned the ball over 15 times in Wednesday's contest. Eight of those turnovers were caused by the pressure of the Haverford defense. PJ Jackson headlined that effort with five of the caused turnovers. Haverford also held a 21-16 advantage in ground balls with Jake Ephron's four pickups leading the way. Jackson added three ground balls to go along with his caused turnovers.
The matinee started as anything but a defensive battle as Haverford scored just under three minutes into the contest with Patrick Girard finishing a pass from Ben Frost to make the score 1-0. Girard's goal was his third of the season while Frost's assist was his second on the year. Just over three minutes after giving up the first goal, Gwynedd Mercy leveled the game at one-all with Joseph Pandolfi's goal at the 8:52 mark of the first quarter.
After the Griffins, scored on their second shot on goal of the game, Haverford did not allow another goal for the remaining time. That lockdown defense translated to both ends of the field, however, as Haverford did not take the lead for good until there was just 2:13 to play in the half. One-on-one with his defender, Noah Hollander scored his first career goal on a nice move to shake his defender. Haverford came right back with another goal to make it 3-1 just 21 seconds before the break as Stephen DeLeo and Ryan Tetro connected for the first of two scoring combinations on the afternoon.
Haverford limited the Gwynedd Mercy attack to just nine shots in the second half as Slack stopped the only four efforts on goal. The Fords also added a goal in each quarter as Jack Russ tallied for the second time this season with 1:41 to play in the third. The combo of DeLeo and Tetro again connected with 11:12 to play in regulation. DeLeo now has six goals on the year while Tetro's assists were his first two helpers of the season.
Men's lacrosse will put its four-game winning streak to the test this weekend as the Fords close their stretch of four straight road games with a 1 p.m. faceoff against No. 8 York (Pa.). After Saturday's trip, the Fords will be at home for the final three games that close out the month of March.