Falcons Overcome Haverford, Rain for 1-0 Win
Grantham, PA — The rains came down, and the Falcons rose up. Messiah men’s soccer defeated Haverford College 1-0 amid a steady rainfall on Tuesday night, moving their record to 2-0-1 on the season. The rains were steady throughout the contest, and at times poured down on the players, coaches, and few fans in attendance.
The game, played on the turf of Clarke Field at Gettysburg College, was tight throughout with Messiah finally breaking the scoreless tie in the 61st minute of play. Freshman Jack Thompson controlled a deflection from an attempted clearing in Haverford’s box, finding his teammate and brother, senior Danny Thompson, on the right side of the goal for the score. Danny’s quick, one-touch goal, challenged by the defender on his back, was partially the result of a Haverford defense that paused for an assumed offside call that never came.
The goal would be the only scoring Messiah would need to earn the 1-0 win. Nevertheless, the Falcons seemed to be knocking on the door throughout the contest.
In the first half, Messiah collected six shots including a header by Jack Thompson that went wide-left of the goal, an attempt resulting from a perfect cross from senior Derek Black. A few minutes later, midway through the frame, a near-goal flick from Danny Thompson found the goalie’s hands keeping the game scoreless.
Haverford (1-1-0) would have only one shot in the first half, but it required a diving save from junior goalie Jake Berry on the 6-yard line to stay out of the net.
In the second half, Messiah continued to control the tempo of the game even as Haverford did their best to disrupt the Falcons attack.
“Haverford did a good job of cutting down our spaces,” said Messiah head coach Brad McCarty. “They played a good game and limited our chances. We had to take advantage of the few opportunities we found.”
The opportunity they found would be Thompson’s goal, putting Messiah ahead as the rain, and clock, continued to fall.
Haverford’s best chance at a tie came in the 86th minute, as a long cross to the left post resulted in a scramble in front of the net that left Berry on the ground. The ball was put to the middle of the goal, which appeared open, before the Messiah defense would clear the ball before Haverford could strike. Haverford would not get a better look.
“Our wings and defense played well tonight, and I think we stepped up when we needed to make plays,” said McCarty, reflecting on the determination displayed by his team. “Now, we’ll look forward to playing a real home game.”
Indeed, the Falcons will look forward to their first true home game on Saturday, Sept. 10 when they play host to Catholic University. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. After playing in Ohio this past weekend, and at Gettysburg College this evening, the lights of Shoemaker Field are sure to be welcoming to the Falcons.