GRANTHAM, Pa. — Second-ranked Messiah defeated Haverford 1-0 amid a steady rainfall Tuesday night, moving to 2-0-1 on the season. The rain was steady throughout the contest, and at times poured on the contest moved to Gettysburg College.
The match 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 a defender on his back, was partially the result of a Haverford defense that paused for an assumed offside call that never came.
The goal was the only scoring Messiah would need, despite 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, a near-goal flick from Danny Thompson found the goalie’s hands keeping the game scoreless.
Haverford (1-1-0) had just 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 even as Haverford did its best to disrupt the Falcons’ attack.
“Haverford did a good job of cutting down our spaces,” Messiah coach Brad McCarty said. “They played a good game and limited our chances. We had to take advantage of the few opportunities we found.”
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 cleared the ball prior to the Haverford strike. It was the best look Haverford would get.
“Our wings and defense played well tonight, and I think we stepped up when we needed to make plays,” McCarty said.