BRYN MAWR, Pa. - The Owls soccer team kicked off their final week of the regular season earlier Tuesday afternoon by welcoming Bi-Co rivals Haverford to campus. Unfortunately for the Owls, it was the Fords who got off to a fast start in this one, scoring two goals in the opening five minutes to pull away to an early lead in what became a 5-1 loss for Bryn Mawr. However, there were still some bright spots on the day for the home team, as Paige Mastripolito scored a great goal on a pass from Sarah Coufal. Carlie Hansen and Grecia Prieto played well in goal for the Owls too, combining for 10 saves on the day.
The start for Bryn Mawr was less than desireable, as Haverford ambushed the Owls for two goals inside the first four minutes. Celia Page got the visitors on the board with a goal on an assist from Gabrielle Cipriano. Then, just 21 seconds later, Cipriano got one in the goal column too, scoring off of a feed by Saede Eifrig.
That series took place within the first 3:17 of action, but after that, the Owls did a nice job of settling into the game and trying to generate some offense of their own. Haverford still had most of the scoring chances in the remainder of the first half, but Bryn Mawr's defense did well to shut down some of the passing lanes, and Hansen made some very strong saves on shots that did reach her. On the offensive side, despite some good stretches of possession through the midfield and into the attacking third, Bryn Mawr just couldn't quite find that last ball to spring an attacker loose, and that ultimately kept the Owls without a shot in the first half. It appeared as if Bryn Mawr might shut the Fords down the rest of the way into halftime, but a late challenge in the box by the hosts gave Haverford a penalty kick late in the half. Mia Reyes converted that opportunity for the Fords, and that gave the visitors a 3-0 advantage headed into the halftime break.
The second half saw Haverford get off to nearly as good of a start, as the Fords found their fourth goal of the game eight minutes into the half as Page tallied her second goal of the day. Haverford then scored their fifth and final goal of the day less than ten minutes later.
Once again, Bryn Mawr rebounded nicely from the early struggles in the half, and by the middle of the period the Owls were starting to make some headway offensively. A corner kick midway through the half didn't result in any opportunities, but Elizabeth Kiely got the Owls' first shot of the day off a few minutes later on a strong drive from outside the box.
Then, Bryn Mawr finally broke through with under 10 minutes to play thanks to a fantastic goal on the counterattack. After a Haverford attack broke down, a deflected pass from the penalty box put the ball at the feet of Sarah Coufal in the middle of Bryn Mawr's defensive third. Coufal, spotting Mastripolito timing her run, didn't even take a touch to control the ball and instead sent a lofted through ball over the top of the Haverford defense. The perfectly weighted pass allowed Mastripolito to run on to the ball inside behind the entire defense. With a defender bearing down right behind her, the first-year forward sent a heavily driven shot on goal from distance. The Haverford goalkeeper was able to make the initial stop, but Mastripolito's shot was such a rocket that it deflected off of the keeper's hands to the left. It was then a race between Mastripolito and the goaltender to see who could get to the loose ball first, and the Bryn Mawr forward turned on the jets to make sure she got there first. Mastripolito sent a left-footed effort straight into the center of the goal to get Bryn Mawr on the board and erase the Haverford shutout attempt.
The Owls will be back in action on Saturday afternoon at home for their final contest of the season. Bryn Mawr will welcome Ursinus to campus on Saturday, with that game scheduled to kick off at 2:30 PM on Applebee Field.