Second-Half Surge Lifts No. 4 F&M

Second-Half Surge Lifts No. 4 F&M

LANCASTER, Pa. – A pair of second-half goals broke a scoreless tie and propelled the No. 4 Franklin & Marshall field hockey team to a 2-0 blanking of No. 19 Eastern on Wednesday evening at Tylus Field. 

The shutout was the Diplomats' eighth of the year and fourth in a row, moving F&M to 11-2, while the Eagles fell to 9-3. 

In the opening half, the Diplomats' seized the momentum from the onset, scattering 11 shots, including eight on cage, through the first 35 minutes of play. However, F&M's impressive offense hit a stonewall, in the form of Eastern goalkeeper Nicole Berger (6-3), who turned back all the shots she faced in the stanza. 

Despite being outshot, the Eagles nearly went into the break with a one-goal advantage, when a penalty stroke opportunity gave Eastern a golden chance with just four minutes remaining on the clock. Ilianna Santangelo (7-1) stood tall in cage, making a diving stop to her right to keep the game scoreless. 

F&M finally capitalized in the 57th minute of the second when a Maria Guarisco reverse put back, off her own initial shot, was lifted into the top-right of the cage for the 1-0 advantage. 

Lauren Eastman sealed the win just three minutes later, taking an Audrey Buckman deflection on the right side of the cage and sending the ball in from five yards out for the 2-0 score. 

The Diplomats outshot the Eagles by a staggering 24-0 margin in the second to lead the overall shot count at 35-2 on the evening. Penalty corners were also dominated by F&M at 19-5. Guarisco tallied eight shots to pace the attack, followed by seven each from Anne Horsley and Sydney Cole

Santangelo stopped both shots she faced on the game, while Eastern's Berger was credited with 19 saves. 

A return to Centennial Conference (CC) action awaits the Diplomats on Saturday when F&M travels to take on Muhlenberg in a rematch of last year's conference semifinals at 1:00 p.m.