2019 Season Preview
The Haverford College women's soccer team has qualified for the Centennial Conference playoffs during each of the past three seasons and 10 of 12 overall since head coach Jamie Schneck took over the Fords. During the 2018 season, Haverford reloaded following the graduation of nine seniors to make it back to the Centennial Conference Tournament. The Fords will once again be faced with that task as nine seniors, including six starters, graduated for last year's team. Nonetheless, Haverford's returning players have accounted for 182 starts to date. Those returning players will be joined by nine incoming first-years and one sophomore transfer as the Fords look to make an even deeper postseason run in 2019.
The Fords return three All-Centennial Conference players from the 2018 season in Kendra Griesman, Leanne Ludwick, and Lindsay Wytkind. The Fords went 8-6-3 overall in 2018, sporting a 5-3-2 mark in Centennial Conference action which earned them the fifth seed in the conference tournament. Helping Haverford get an early start on the 2019 season was the team's preseason trip to Portugal where the Fords played a pair of matches and had training sessions in addition to many other adventures during a fun-filled week abroad.
Forward: Senior co-captain Leanne Ludwick returns after a garnering honorable mention All-Centennial Conference accolades a season ago. She has started 47 of her 52 career appearances, scoring nine goals and tallying six assists during that time. Junior Saede Eifrig has also provided a dynamic scoring option for the Fords in recent seasons, leading the team in goals and points during her first-year at Haverford.
Sophomore Elle Ferreira also saw time up top for the Fords during her rookie campaign and will look to make an even bigger impact in 2019. First-years Ashley Chun and Alyssa Saito join this unit which will also be bolstered by the addition of sophomore transfer Rachel White. White appeared in 10 matches a season ago for an Emory team which advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Midfield: Senior Kendra Griesman has split time between defense and the midfield during her career. She has earned All-CC recognition during every season in which she was healthy, garnering second-team status in 2016 and honorable mention accolades last fall. Griesman has started 33 of her 34 career appearances, scoring four goals and assisting on four others. Finding the goal in big moments, three of Griesman's goals throughout her career have been game-winning efforts.
A number of players have also spent significant time in the midfield as threats off the bench with a chance to move into the starting lineup this fall. Juniors Marina Piccolo and Lauren Nguyen are the most experienced of that group as they are joined by sophomores Mia Reyes, Gabrielle Cipriano, and Jaclyn Corbin. Reyes scored four goals and assisted on two more during her rookie season while Cipriano found the back of the net against Franklin & Marshall. The midfield unit will also be bolstered by the addition of first-years Meg Bowen, Celia Page, and Alana Ponte.
Defense: Honorable mention All-Centennial Conference performer Lyndsay Wytkind and fellow co-captain Emily Thissen have both been starters for the majority of their careers. Wytkind has started 46 of her 48 career appearances while Thissen has appeared in the starting XI on 21 occasions. They return to anchor a defense which helped record seven shutouts and allowed just 0.89 goals per game in 2018. Just four times in 18 matches last year did the Fords allow more than a single goal.
Looking to fill the roles of the departing senior class are a number of experienced returners in junior Ellie Burns, along with sophomores Moorea Morrison and Karlie Pollock. Fellow sophomore Julie Rebh also returns after missing last year while first-years Calais Irwin, Kendall Ozorowski, and April Zeng give the Fords a number of options to formulate a defensive strategy which has proven vital in setting up Haverford's counter-attack during recent years.
Goalkeeper: Hannah Friedrich appeared in eight games, making two starts during her rookie campaign in 2018. She was 4-1 as the goalie of record in those matches and posted a 1.21 GAA. Haverford also bolstered its goalkeeping unit with the addition of first-year Claire Cywes.
Women's soccer gets the regular season underway on Saturday, August 31 with its annual Haverford College Kick Off Classic Tournament. The opening game will once again see the Fords battle with Arcadia as kick off is slated for 1:30 p.m. The Fords will be home on Walton Field a total of 10 times during the regular season. Looking to get out of the gates strong, Haverford starts the year by playing six of its first eight matches on its home field.