Diplomats Advance to CC Championship

Diplomats Advance to CC Championship

LANCASTER, Pa. - No. 4 Franklin & Marshall advanced to the Centennial Conference (CC) Championship game for the second straight year with a 2-0 blanking of visiting Ursinus on Saturday afternoon at Tylus Field. The top-seeded Diplomats (17-1) have now won 17-straight contests and move on to Sunday's title game against second-seeded Haverford, a 4-3 winner over third-seeded Gettysburg in the other semifinal.

The loss ends Ursinus's (11-8) eight-year run of CC titles, as the Bears failed to advance to the championship round for the first time since 2003.

F&M controlled most of the possession and dominated the stat sheet from start to finish. The Diplomats bombarded the Bears with a 19-5 shot advantage, and also held a 13-5 edge in penalty corners.

In the 10th minute, Kristen Zublin put F&M on top with what would prove to be the game-winning goal. The senior forward collected a pass from Megan Kelly in front of goal and had her initial shot attempt thwarted by Ursinus goalkeeper Danielle DeSpirito, but her second try off the rebound found the back of the cage and the Diplomats led, 1-0.

The Diplomats had several other quality looks at net throughout the remainder of the first half, but the Ursinus defense held strong and the two sides headed into the intermission with F&M leading by one.

Just over five minutes into the second stanza, Dana Venditti gave F&M a two-goal cushion with an unassisted score on a close-range strike from the right side.

The Bears tallied their only two shots on goal in the ensuing six minutes of play, but goalkeeper Avery Koep turned away both attempts to preserve the shutout win. Koep totaled two saves, while DeSpirito managed seven stops in the defeat.

Top-seeded F&M will square off opposite second-seeded Haverford in the CC Championship game on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at Tylus Field. 

Ursinus (11-8) vs. #4 F&M (17-1)

 Goals by period       1  2  Tot
 Ursinus.............  0  0 -  0
 F&M.................  1  1 -  2
  1.   9:27 F&M Kristen Zublin (18) (unassisted) - cross from right,finished own rebound
  2.  40:04 F&M Dana Venditti (8) (unassisted)

 Shots: Ursinus 5, F&M 19
 Saves: Ursinus 7 (Danielle DeSpirito 7), F&M 2 (Avery Koep 2)