A daunting two-game stretch on the road awaits No. 6 Franklin & Marshall, who heads into its third week of action with a 5-1, 1-0 CC record on the year. The Diplomats face always-difficult non-conference opponent Messiah, who received votes in the top-20 poll, on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m., before traveling to face No. 7 Ursinus on Saturday, the winners of 10 out of the last 11 conference titles.
Series History: Messiah holds a controlling 19-7-4 edge over F&M in the all-time series between the two schools, however the Diplomats got the best of the Falcons last time out with a narrow 1-0 shutout on Sept. 23 of last year. Messiah (2-4) has faced a brutal schedule to begin the year and is coming of a slight 1-0 loss of its own to No. 1 TCNJ.
Ursinus enters competition with four consecutive wins against F&M and holds the 25-5 all-time advantage. The Diplomats last win in the series came back in 2013 with a 2-1 victory on Sept. 21.
Last Week: Following a 2-1 setback to York on Tuesday, F&M capped off last week on a high note, blanking Swarthmore by a 3-0 score in its conference opener on Saturday.
Against the Spartans, an early two-goal deficit put the Diplomats in a hole they could not climb out from en route to the 2-1 upset. Mary Kate Meedzan registered F&M's lone goal in the game, while Maria Guarisco paced the Diplomats' offense with seven shots, followed by three each from Sarah Powell and Bridget Falcone.
On Saturday against the Garnet, F&M's defense held Swarthmore to just one shot through 70 minutes of action. Guarisco (12th minute), Melanie Consiglio (47th minute) and Powell (64th minute) all tallied goals, while freshman goalkeeper Ilianna Santangelo (1-0) picked up for first career win in cage.
For complete statistics from last week's contests, click here.
In the Rankings: The Diplomats fell a pair of spots to No. 6 in this week's Penn Monto / NFHCA Division III Poll. CC foe Ursinus is the only other conference representative in the rankings at No. 7. To view the complete top-20, click here.
Among the Leaders (NCAA): F&M's offense has made its way into the national statistic rankings after its strong start to the season. The Diplomats rank 22nd among all DIII teams in goals per game average (3.67) and ninth in penalty corners per game (14.33). Individually, Guarisco places 16th with a 3.0 points per game average and 15th in goals per game at 1.33.
Among the Leaders (CC): Guarisco also finds her name atop the conference scoring leaders, ranking first in points (18) and goals (8), while placing second in shots (42).
Moving up the Charts: With nine game-winning goals in her career, Guarisco is second on the program's all-time list. Becky Willert '11 holds the record at 13. Guarisco is closing in on the program's all-time assists record, currently placing second with 24. Eileen O'Reilly '10 leads the way with 35. The senior forward continues her ascent up the program's scoring list and is now seventh in goals with 40 and fifth in points with 104 in her career.
Lauren Eastman's name is also among the program's leaders, placing 25th in career goals (17) and fifth in game-winning goals (6).