LANCASTER, Pa. – Gabby Frank buried a pass from Maddie Hughes 45 seconds into overtime to lift No. 3 Franklin & Marshall to a 9-8 victory over No. 5 Middlebury on Wednesday evening. The win is the seventh straight for F&M as the Diplomats improved to 7-1 while Middlebury, the defending National Champions, dropped to 6-2.
F&M dominated in the opening minutes of the game and jumped out to 3-0 lead midway through the half. Gabby Frank found Grace Norley for the first score at 26:53 before Frank struck unassisted at 21:19. Hannah Serling made it 3-0 at 15:50 and Paige Moriarty put the Diplomats up 4-0 with an unassisted score at 6:58. The Panthers answered with two straight in a 26 seconds to come within two. The Diplomats put the last point on the board in the first when Natalie Delinsky connected with Grace Norley with 15 ticks on the clock to give F&M a 5-2 lead at the break.
The Panthers came out the break with a 3-0 run and tied the game at 5-5 with 23:12 left in the game. Norley struck at 22:15 to put the Diplomats back out front and Delinsky gave the Diplomats a two-point edge, 7-5, with 15:51 left on the clock. Middlebury came within a goal, 7-6, and Norley found Moriarty for a score to put the Diplomats up two, 8-6, at 6:27. The Panthers countered with two scores in a 59-second span to tie the game at 8-8 with 5:10 left to play.
Middlebury took control with a little more than three minutes left in the game and took the clock down to 20 seconds to set up the final shot. The Panthers got off two shots in the final seconds, but were unable connect, sending the game into overtime.
Maggie Hanzsche came away with the draw to start overtime and the Diplomats called a timeout to set up their offense. After the break, F&M set up and Hughes fed Frank, who was crossing right to left three yards out, and Frank found the bottom right of the net for the game-winner.
Norley finished with three scores and one assist, Frank had two goals with one helper while Moriarty ended the game with two goals. Serling and Delinsky struck once with Hughes and Delinsky ending with an assist each.
Danielle Harrington stopped five stops in the cage and improved to 7-1 while Kate Furber took the loss with four stops.
The Diplomats outshot the Panthers 21-19, held a 10-9 edge in draws and went 11-for-12 on clear attempts.
F&M returns to action on Saturday when the Diplomats host Haverford at 12:00 p.m.