Haver­ford sinks Rustin in OT

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Matthew DeGe­orge mde­ge­orge@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @sports­doc­tormd on Twit­ter

HAVER­FORD >> As the ball bounded off Ali Murphy’s head Tuesday night, the sopho­more didn’t need to see where the shot landed.

Ev­ery­one else on the field at Haver­ford High’s A.G. Cornog Sta­dium was trans­fixed by the loop­ing tra­jec­tory, arc­ing gen­tly to­ward an open goal. But Murphy was al­ready look­ing for a team­mate to hug in cel­e­bra­tion.

The Haver­ford winger knew she had headed it true the mo­ment she con­nected on Grace Drames’ cross — and a mo­ment be­fore she ab­sorbed a col­li­sion with a West Ch­ester Rustin de­fender and goalie Nicole Cousens — as the Fords earned a 2-1 win in over­time of the open­ing round of the Dis­trict 1 Class 4A soc­cer tour­na­ment.

“Right when I headed it, I knew it was go­ing in,” Murphy said. “So I just turned around and ran to­ward ev­ery­one on my team and hugged them all.”

The vic­tory moves the No. 13 Fords (15-3-1) to the sec­ond round Thurs­day against No. 4 Con­estoga, which beat the Fords 2-1 in their reg­u­lar sea­son meet­ing. It’s also, ac­cord­ing to coach Alexan­dra Hill, the pro­gram’s first post­sea­son win, at least in re­cent mem­ory.

The Fords had the bet­ter of play in over­time, but they missed a golden chance five min­utes be­fore the goal, when An­nalena O’Reilly played in Amelia Dur­fee be­hind the de­fense. Dur­fee’s shot trick­led, though, ag­o­niz­ingly wide of the post, a missed chance that the Fords didn’t rue.

O’Reilly opened the scor­ing less than two min­utes into the sec­ond half on a stir­ring strike from the top of the 18. Nora Janzer slipped her in be­hind on a 2-on-1, and O’Reilly blasted a high shot Cousens couldn’t han­dle.

With 38 min­utes to de­fend a lead, the chal­lenge was clearly set for Haver­ford’s de­fense. They got through the first 20-some min­utes, but even­tu­ally Ken­dall Am­mer­man beat the Fords’ off­side trap in the 68th.

The back­line of Drames, Mad­die San­toro, Clare Janzer and Bri­anna Blair had ef­fec­tively main­tained a high line to re­pel Am­mer­man’s speed on through balls. But they slumped for a brief mo­ment, al­low­ing Am­mer­man to latch onto a long ball from left back Emily Betchyk, bomb in alone on goalie Ali­son Dur­fee and ri­fle a shot low and hard to Dur­fee’s right.

Both sides grap­pled with ad­just­ments. For Am­mer­man and No. 20 seed Rustin (11-8), it was ac­cli­mat­ing to the off­side trap with a changed for­ma­tion, putting Am­mer­man alone up top. Drames and her back­line, mean­while, had to grasp Am­mer­man’s ten­den­cies. Once they did, the load light­ened.

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