CHESTERTOWN, Md. – Sydney Cole's 86th-minute goal in the second overtime allowed the No. 4 Franklin & Marshall field hockey team to survive Washington by a narrow 2-1 score on Saturday afternoon in Centennial Conference (CC) competition.
The Diplomats improved to 13-2, 8-0 CC on the year, moving one step closer to securing home-field advantage in the upcoming CC Playoffs, while the Shorewomen fell to 8-7, 3-5 CC. F&M needs just one win in one of its final two games to ensure the conference tournament is played at Tylus Field.
Cole's clutch overtime score was first set up by a spectacular defensive play from the sophomore forward. Stealing a pass and going one-on-one with the goalie, Cole deked to her right and sent a shot to the right side of the cage. A Washington defender attempted to make a defensive save, but arrived just a second too late on the play, as Cole's fifth of the season delivered the win.
Following a scoreless first half of action, Maria Guarisco finally got the scoring underway in the 59th minute. The Diplomats' leading goal scorer gathered a loose ball in the circle and put it into the lower right of the cage for the 1-0 advantage. The tally was Guarisco's 13th of the season and 45th of her career, moving the senior forward into a tie for fifth on the program's all-time list.
F&M's looked to have the contest wrapped up until the Shorewomen's Jenn Miller deflected in a pass with just 1 minute, 15 seconds remaining in the contest. The goal marked the first score against the Diplomats since the 56th minute of a 7-2 win against McDaniel on Sept. 30, a streak of five games. After a pair of questionable penalty calls, F&M was down a pair of players in the overtime stanza, but managed to hang on before notching the game winner.
Ilianna Santangelo (9-1) was awarded the win, stopping one shot and allowing one goal in 86 minutes of play, while Washington's Sadie Robertson (8-6) was dealt the loss despite 10 saves.
Shots belonged to the Diplomats by a 25-3 margin, while corners also heavily favored F&M at 26-3. Guarisco led the way with 11 shots, followed by seven from Bridget Falcone and five from Cole.
The Diplomats return home on Wednesday when F&M welcomes Gettysburg to Tylus Field for a 7:00 p.m. matchup.