LANCASTER, Pa. – Maria Guarisco netted two goals, Ashley Gubernick stopped a pair of shots for her first career shutout, and the No. 6 Franklin & Marshall field hockey team opened 2015 in style with a dominant 4-0 win over Elizabethtown on Wednesday evening at Tylus Field.
The victory improved the Diplomats to 1-0 on the year, while the Blue Jays fell to 0-1.
Guarisco needed just two minutes into the start of the contest to register F&M's first tally of the season, taking the ball along the left side and firing a shot from five yards out that found its way into the right corner of the cage for the early 1-0 advantage.
The Diplomats continued to control the action throughout the first half, but failed to convert on a number of penalty corner opportunities, as the score remained close. In the 29th minute, F&M finally extended the lead to two, when Bridget Falcone slid a short pass over to Mary Kate Olson on the left side of the circle, who landed a shot past the Elizabethtown goalkeeper.
Guarisco once again lit the scoreboard with another early-half tally, keeping the momentum on the Diplomats side out of the break, with a back-handed shot from five yards out to make it a 3-0 game in the 40th minute of play. Katherine Kistler nearly pushed the advantage to four with a penalty stroke in the 57th minute, but missed just wide.
With nine minutes to go in the contest, Clare Wirth put the game out of reach for good, deflecting a long Guarisco shot into the cage for the 4-0 lead.
Gubernick (1-0) stopped both shots that came her way to earn the shutout victory for F&M. Her counterpart Margo Donlin (0-1) suffered the loss, picking up 13 saves, including an incredible diving stop on a penalty stroke with 12 minutes left in the second.
The Diplomats dominated the shot count by a 20-3 margin, including a 12-3 edge in the final frame. Penalty corners also belonged to F&M at 18-1. Guarisco led the way with nine shots, followed by four from Falcone and a pair from Anne Horsley.
Non-conference action continues against No. 20 Rowan on the road this Saturday with a 1:00 p.m. tilt.