BERWYN >> Haverford junior Lea VanLuvender wasn’t ready to see her field hockey season end in the rain Wednesday afternoon.
Despite VanLuvender’s best efforts, the 12th-seeded Fords couldn’t overcome a first-half deficit and dropped a 4-1 decision to No. 5 Conestoga in a PIAA District One Class AAA second-round contest at Teamer Field.
The Central League champion Pioneers (18-2) will play a quarterfinal round contest Friday against the winner of Thursday’s game between fourth-seeded Neshaminy (18-1) and No. 13 West Chester Henderson (14-4-1), while Haverford’s underclassmen will do what they can to try to prepare to get back to the playoffs in 2016.
“We found out we couldn’t let them shoot from the top of the circle,” VanLuvender said as she looked back at the many scoring opportunities host ’Stoga ended up with against the Fords.
Conestoga’s Emma McGillis had a breakaway 2:30 into the game, but Fords goalie Emily DiGaetano, who had stopped a penalty stroke in Monday’s win over Oxford, turned her away.
Pioneers junior Meredith Ross picked up the first of her three goals in the fourth minute, then Laura Winters answered for visiting Haverford three minutes later on a play set up by senior Tess Horan.
Conestoga did its damage from high in the scoring circle before the first half ended, converting a pair of penalty
corners. Nine minutes before halftime, freshman Charlotte DeVries scored, assisted by Casey Allen.
Seconds before the whistle that would signal the end of the first 30 minutes of play, Allen put the ball on Ross’ stick and one flick of Ross’ wrists gave Conestoga a 3-1 halftime advantage.
“We tried not to let the rain affect our game,” said Ross, who has committed to Michigan State. “Actually playing in the rain can make the game interesting sometimes.”
Ross, who plays for the national champion WC Eagles club team, said that the Pioneers couldn’t think back to their three-goal win over Haverford during the regular season.
“We have an undefeated streak going against the Central League,” she said. “We knew Haverford would be a tough team, but we wanted to keep that streak going. Now we know we might have to play away (Friday) against a really good team.”
Ross’ hat trick goal was the only score of the second half.
“I’m proud of what we did this season,” Haverford coach Beth Coffey said. “We just wanted things to go on a little longer.”
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