LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's women's soccer team opened its season with a tough 3-0 loss against Pacific Lutheran at home on Friday afternoon in non-conference competition. The Diplomats dropped to 0-1 with the defeat, while the Lutes improved to 1-0.
Pacific Lutheran, a 2016 NCAA qualifier, took the early advantage, finding the back of the net in the second minute of the first half. Pressure in the Lutes' offensive zone led to a corner kick opportunity. Liz Griffith sent an attempt to the near post where a waiting Leah Magee secured the ball and sent a turn around shot to the top-left corner of the goal for the 1-0 edge.
Reanna Leoni nearly scored the equalizer just 12 minutes later when a chip shot just outside the 18-yard box barely landed high of the crossbar.
In the second half, Kyra Judge gave F&M its first scoring chance of the frame just five minutes in but the Pacific Lutheran goalkeeper went down to the turf to stop the attempt.
In the 56th minute, Magee struck again, collecting a short cross pass on a breakaway play and landing a shot in the upper-middle section of net to put the Lutes ahead by two.
Seven minutes later, Magee wrapped up the hat trick, forcing an F&M turnover off a failed clearance attempt inside the box and capitalizing with a quick shot that was once again placed in the upper-middle section of the goal.
The Diplomats battled throughout the remainder of the second frame, fighting to keep the ball out of the Lutes' offensive third but were unable to make good on several quality scoring chances.
Pacific Lutheran led the way in shots at 15-5 and corners at 5-1. Leoni and Judge paced F&M with two each while Sabrina Graziano also was credited with an attempt. Natalie Robinson earned the win in net with one save through 90 minutes, while the Diplomats' freshman goalkeeper Gabby Panayotakis was dealt the loss despite a seven-save effort.
F&M returns to action tomorrow, hosting No. 15 Stevens for a 1:00 p.m. showdown.