Just three games remain on the 2015 regular-season schedule for the No. 4 Franklin & Marshall field hockey team, who needs one more win to clinch a seed in the upcoming Centennial Conference (CC) Playoffs. The Diplomats get their opportunity on Saturday, traveling to Washington for a 1:00 p.m. contest.
Series History: Although the series between F&M and Washington is deadlocked at 11-11, the edge has belonged to the Diplomats in recent years. Winners of four straight, F&M hasn't lost to the Shorewomen since 2010.
Last Week: F&M's stingy defense continued to blank the opposition with shutouts of No. 19 Eastern on Wednesday (2-0) and Muhlenberg on Saturday (4-0). The Diplomats have now held their opponents scoreless in five consecutive games for a total of nine shutouts on the season.
Against Eastern, a pair of second-half goals broke a scoreless tie and propelled No. 4 F&M to the victory. Maria Guarisco (57th minute) and Lauren Eastman (60th minute) both notched scores as the Diplomats outshot the Eagles by a staggering 35-2 margin.
To watch a highlight video of this contest, click here.
Against Muhlenberg, goals from four individual players keyed a balanced attack in a rematch of last season's CC Semifinal matchup. Eastman (2nd minute), Sarah Powell (26th minute), Audrey Buckman (55th minute) and Sydney Cole (59th minute) all lit the scoreboard as F&M dominated the shot count at 21-1 and corners at 16-1.
To read a recap of this contest, click here.
Consecutive Shutout Streak: F&M's shutout streak now stands at five, dating back to an 11-0 blanking of Bryn Mawr on Oct. 3, reaching a CC record that the Diplomats tied last season. Three other teams throughout CC history have blanked opponents in five consecutive matches, however F&M would be the first to get to six if it can hold Washington scoreless on Saturday.
In the Rankings: The Diplomats stayed at No. 4 in the Penn Monto / NFHCA Division III Poll, marking the second consecutive week in that spot. CC foe Ursinus is the only other conference representative in the rankings at No. 6. To view the complete top-20, click here.
Santangelo Named POTW: Ilianna Santangelo was named the CC Defensive Player of the Week for field hockey on Monday, the first honor of her career and second of the season for the Diplomats. The freshman goalkeeper registered three saves in back-to-back shutouts last week, giving Santangelo four in a row and a total of six on the season.
Among the Leaders (NCAA): F&M's offense has made its way into the national statistic rankings after its performance so far this season. The Diplomats rank 12th among all DIII teams in goals per game average (4.0) and sixth in penalty corners per game (13.29), while defensively F&M places second in shutout percentage (64 percent). Santangello's 0.54 goals against average is the third lowest in the nation.
Among the Leaders (CC): Guarisco also finds her name atop the conference scoring leaders, ranking fourth in points (31) and goals (112), while placing second in shots (78) and third in assists (7).
Moving up the Charts: With 11 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 29. Eileen O'Reilly '10 leads the way with 35.
The senior forward continues her ascent up the program's scoring list and is now sixth in goals with 44 and second in points with 117 in her career. Lauren Kramedas '78 holds the goals record with 53, while Brittany Croll '05 is the all-time points leader at 127.
Eastman's name is also among the program's leaders, placing 20th in career goals (20) and fourth in game-winning goals (7), while Cole's five game-winning scores place her in 11th.
Balanced Attack: Sixteen different members of the team have registered at least one goal on the year with 11 notching multiple scores.