Field Hockey Aims to Lock up Top Seed

Field Hockey Aims to Lock up Top Seed
Game 16        
Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015  
F&M vs. Gettysburg | Lancaster, Pa. | 7:00 PM     
Series Record: F&M Leads 24-21   
Streak: F&M +4        
Last F&M Victory: 3-2, Oct. 28, 2014         
Last GC Victory: 2-1, Sept. 28, 2010           
Video (HD) | Live Stats

Game 17        
Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015       
F&M vs. Dickinson | Lancaster, Pa. | 1:00 PM       
Series Record: F&M Leads 35-9     
Streak: F&M +7        
Last F&M Victory: 2-0, Nov. 1, 2014           
Last DC Victory: 4-3 (OT), Oct. 16, 2007   
Video (HD) | Live Stats

With just two games remaining in the regular season and a spot in the Centennial Conference (CC) Tournament secured, No. 4 Franklin & Marshall's field hockey team has its sights set on locking up the number one seed and the right to host the CC Playoffs for the fourth time in the previous five years.

Series History: Holding a narrow 24-21 all-time lead against Gettysburg, the Diplomats enter Wednesday's competition hoping to extend their four-game win streak over the Bullets. These squads squared off on Oct. 28 of last season, with Maria Guarisco's three goals leading to a thrilling 3-2 victory for F&M.

To read a recap of that match, click here

Against Dickinson, the Diplomats have taken each of the previous seven contests and hold a dominant 35-9 advantage over the Red Devils. A pair of goals from Sydney Cole and a strong performance from Allie Morey in cage led F&M to a 2-0 shutout on Nov. 1 of last year. 

To read a recap of that match, click here

Last Week: Cole's 86th-minute score in the second overtime allowed No. 4 F&M to survive Washington by a narrow 2-1 score on Saturday afternoon. The sophomore forward's clutch overtime score was first set up by a spectacular defensive play from Cole. Stealing a pass and going one-on-one with the goalie, she 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. 

To read a recap of this match, click here

CC Playoff Outlook: F&M (13-2, 8-0 CC) needs just one more win in one of its final two games, or an Ursinus (13-3, 8-1) loss to wrap up home-field advantage in the upcoming CC Tournament. The Diplomats hold the tiebreaker over the Bears after earning a 2-0 shutout on Sept. 26. 

Last week, F&M punched its ticket to the CC Playoffs for the fifth consecutive season and helped guarantee itself a first-round bye in the tournament. 

In the Rankings: The Diplomats stayed at No. 4 in the Penn Monto / NFHCA Division III Poll, marking the third 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.

Among the Leaders (NCAA): F&M's offense continues to hold a strong presence in the national statistical rankings. The Diplomats rank 11th among all DIII teams in goals per game average (3.87) and fourth in penalty corners per game (14.13), while defensively F&M places second in shutout percentage (60 percent). Goalkeeper Ilianna Santangelo's 0.57 goals against average is the fifth-lowest in the nation. 

Among the Leaders (CC): Guarisco finds her name atop the conference scoring leaders, ranking fourth in points (33), fifth in goals (13), while placing second in shots (89) and fourth in assists (7).

As a team, the Diplomats are second in goals per game (3.9) and first in goals against average (0.92).

Senior Day: Saturday's contest against Dickinson will be celebrated as senior day for F&M's decorated eight-member class of Audrey Buckman, Lauren Eastman, Guarisco, Mary Kate Meedzan, Tamara Mills, Mary Kate Olson, Tess Reinhold and Clare Wirth.

Moving up the Charts: 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 fifth in goals with 45 and second in points with 119 in her career. Lauren Kramedas '78 holds the goals record with 53, while Brittany Croll '05 is the all-time points leader at 127. 

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. 

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 six game-winning scores place her in a tie for sixth. 

As a team, the Diplomats' nine shutouts on the year are just three shy of tying the program's single-season record of 12, set by the 2014 squad. 

Balanced Attack: Sixteen different members of the team have registered at least one goal on the year with 11 notching multiple scores.