Strong Second Half Leads Diplomats Over Mules

Strong Second Half Leads Diplomats Over Mules

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall scored nine straight in the second half to erase a 6-4 deficit and defeat Muhlenberg 16-9 in Centennial Conference (CC) men's lacrosse action Saturday afternoon. The win is the sixth straight for F&M as the Diplomats improved to 6-2, 1-0 CC while the Mules fell to 1-6, 0-1 CC.

Muhlenberg took a 6-4 lead at 13:47 in the third quarter before the Diplomats went on their game-winning run. Mike Sanzone was key in the run, winning eight of nine faceoffs which all led to goals. Michael Bossidy started things off with a goal off a pass from Will Ballantyne and Billy Kempner found Ballantyne a little over two minutes later to tie the game at 6-6. Chad Gamble put the Diplomats up for good at 7:53 before Jamie McCulloch struck 51 seconds later to make it 8-6.

Kempner and Bossidy hooked up at 5:45 in the third before Chad Gamble found John Barney at 4:27 to make it 10-6. Ballantyne netted two straight off feeds from Evan Baskst before Kempner and Chad Gamble finished off the run with an unassisted tally at 11:16 in the fourth quarter for a 13-6 F&M lead.

The Mules put three straight on the board, but the Diplomats countered with three of their own to finish the game. McCulloch picked up the first one while Jeff Newtown and Joe Bowen finished things off with unassisted goals in the final two minutes of action.

F&M struck first in the first quarter when Tommy Wenk found Bossidy for an early lead, but the Mules answered with five straight to take a 5-1 lead at the end of the first. The Diplomats dominated the second quarter with three unanswered goals to come within a goal, 5-4, at the break. Kempner picked up the first score before Barney and McCulloch netted the final two goals of the half, each assisting the other.

Sanzone went 16-for-20 from the X with 11 ground balls and Kempner ended with seven ground balls for the Diplomats.

Cameron Setian improved to 6-2 with nine saves and Adam Schlauch took the loss with 15 stops.

F&M held a 54-33 advantage in shots, picked up 41 ground balls to the Mules' 25 and went 12-for-12 in clear attempts.

The Diplomats return to action on Wednesday when F&M hosts Ursinus at 7:00 p.m.