LANCASTER, Pa. -Maria Guarisco notched two goals and two assists to power No. 7 Franklin & Marshall past No. 17 Eastern 6-1 in a rematch of last year's NCAA First Round matchup on Saturday at Tylus Field. The Diplomats (3-0) remain unbeaten with the triumph, while the Eagles drop to 1-2.
After a tentative start from both sides that saw both defenses control the contest in the early-going, F&M was able to break through the Eagle defense in the 30th minute on a penalty corner opportunity. Clare Wirth sent the corner to Tamara Mills at the top of the circle, and Mills slipped a pass to Bethany Vincent to her left. From there, Vincent uncorked a low blast towards net that was re-directed by Katie Cecere into the cage for a 1-0 F&M lead.
Just over four minutes later, Guarisco tallied her first score of the day off a feed from Lauren Eastman. Eastman delivered a cross from the right side to Guarisco on the left, and the sophomore touched it into the cage for the close-range tally.
The Diplomats were firing on all cylinders, particulary in the second half, as they poured in four second-half scores to break the game open. Guarisco pushed the advantage to 3-0 F&M just after halftime, converting a shot directly off a Juliet Dalton penalty corner.
Three minutes later, Guarisco was on the other end of a Diplomat score as she weaved past several Eastern defenders, dribbled towards goal, and ripped a strike from just inside the circle that was deflected by Audrey Buckman for a 4-0 F&M edge.
In the 51st minute, Dalton set up another score as she found Melanie Consiglio racing towards goal on the left side, and Consilgio flicked the ball past Eagle goalkeeper Kylie Jones to the near post for her first career score. Lauren Eastern finished a Guarisco feed in the 60th minute to round out the F&M scoring.
The Eagles found the back of the net in the 69th minute to prevent the Diplomats from securing the shutout. Sarah Webb found Megan Bolton off a penalty corner as the Eagles converted on one of just five shots on the afternoon.
F&M's defense was stellar once again, keeping the Eastern offense out of the attacking third of the field and limited their scoring chances all throughout the contest.
Goalkeeper Patricia Smith (1-0), playing in her first career game, totaled two saves to earn the win for F&M. Jones (1-2) notched eight saves in the loss for Eastern.
The Diplomats return to action on Friday as they travel to Lebanon Valley for a non-conference tilt at 4:30 p.m.