Garnet Weekend to feature thrilling endings and exciting new beginnings

Garnet Weekend is traditionally one of the busiest of the year for Swarthmore athletics, but the slate of events for this weekend might be unmatched in recent history.

Major events include the Garnet Hall of Fame induction ceremony (Friday 8:45 p.m.), Cross-Country Centennial Conference Championships (Saturday 11 a.m. at Haverford), the field hockey team’s final game (Saturday, 12 p.m.), the volleyball team’s attempt to complete a perfect season (Saturday, 1 p.m.), the swim team’s conference opener (Saturday 2 p.m.), the women’s soccer team’s attempt to qualify for the playoffs (Saturday, 3 p.m.), the dedication ceremony for the Matchbox (Saturday, 3 p.m.) and, at prime time, a winner-take-all men’s soccer match against Haverford for the conference’s fifth and final playoff spot (Saturday, 7 p.m.). Here is your guide to some of the weekend’s most notable matchups.

Saturday, 1 p.m., volleyball (9-0) vs. Haverford (8-1)

The Garnet are just one win away from a perfect season, but they face a formidable roadblock in a talented Haverford squad. The ’Fords are just one game behind Swarthmore in the standings, and for a team that has defied expectations all season, even beating teams for the first time in decades, nothing would be sweeter than clinching over their rivals.

For seniors Chastity Hopkins and Kate Amodei, both of whom have been instrumental to the team’s success, the match has added meaning. Should Swarthmore fall, it may be the last time the two play on their home court, but should they win, the Centennial Conference tournament will be played at Tarble Pavilion, where no team, within or outside the conference, has defeated the Garnet this season.

Hopkins emphasized the importance of winning on Saturday, saying, “It would be a great feeling to be able to host for conferences and being undefeated from home would be a major boost going into conferences since that was a team goal we all really pushed for.”

Swarthmore comes into the match hot, having not dropped even a single set in two weeks. The team made quick work of Bryn Mawr on Tuesday, winning 25-13, 25-23, 25-15.

Saturday 3 p.m., women’s soccer goes for playoffs

The playoff picture is still quite complicated for both the women’s and men’s soccer teams, but one thing is for sure: both must win on Saturday to have a shot.

After being robbed by a poor officiating call of a chance to win against Muhlenberg last Wednesday, the women’s squad currently sits sixth in the the conference with a record of 5-4. The Garnet will likely know their playoff before their 3 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, as they need either Muhlenberg or Dickinson to fall.

Regardless of the game’s playoff implications, the Garnet will have a chance to clinch a winning season by beating Haverford on what will be the final home match for seniors Elle Bachmannhuff, Amy DiPierro, Julia Murphy, Rehana Omardeen, Emma Sindelar, and Elyse Tierney.

The Garnet were victorious in their most recent match, dominating Bryn Mawr, 7-1, led by a hat trick from Omardeen.

Saturday 7 p.m., men’s soccer looks to slip past Haverford

The resurgent men’s soccer team has bounced back from an 0-4 start in conference play, winning three out of its past four matches to climb to within striking distance of the playoffs.

Several teams remain alive for the fifth and final playoff spot but there is a strong possibility that the winner of the Swarthmore-Haverford match will qualify, while the loser will be eliminated. The stakes could not be higher, as the Swarthmore-Haverford rivalry is especially contentious on the soccer field. Both teams have been conference powerhouses recently and sending Haverford packing would be sweet revenge for the team’s upperclassmen, who had their conference title hopes dashed by the ’Fords in both 2011 and 2012.

The recent winning streak was highlighted by an improbable shorthanded, come-from-behind victory on Saturday over 16th-ranked Dickinson. The outlook looked bleak for Swarthmore when, trailing 1-0 with just 15 minutes left in regulation, star defender Michael Superdock ’15 was sent off with a red card. Playing with 10 men, Tommy Sheehan ’18 scored undoubtedly the biggest goal of his brief college career when he connected on a rebound in the 86th minute. Billy Evers ’17 followed with a 103rd minute golden goal to win the match.

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