LANCASTER, Pa. – Sarah Powell tallied a pair of scores, Ilianna Santangelo stopped all six shots she faced and the No. 5 Franklin & Marshall field hockey team benefited from a complete team effort in a dominant 5-0 win over Cabrini in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday evening at Tylus Field.
The victory propelled the Diplomats to 17-3 on the year and a meeting with the nation's No. 3 team Middlebury in the round of 16 on Saturday in Geneva, N.Y. Game time is set for 2:00 p.m. in the four-team pod hosted by William Smith.
The Cavaliers (12-9) stormed out of the gate with several early scoring chances, but Santangello stood tall in cage to hold off the attack. Sydney Cole turned the tide in the 17th minute, collecting a feed from Lauren Eastman, before working around a defender underneath and firing a shot past the Cabrini goalkeeper for the 1-0 advantage.
With just over five minutes remaining in the half, Powell made it 2-0, collecting a rebound off the goalie's pads and directing a shot into the lower right of the cage to send the Diplomats into the break with the momentum.
In the second, Emily Nagle got in on the scoring, deflecting in an attempt on cage from Clare Wirth for her third goal of the season and pushing the F&M advantage to 3-0. Powell followed with her second score of the game in the 63rd, getting her stick on a long Sydney Cole cross from the right side and sending a slow rolling shot past the Cabrini 'keeper.
Wirth capped off the scoring in the 67th minute, deflecting in a shot from Maria Guarisco at the top of the circle for the 5-0 final score. With the assist on the play, Guarisco is now just two points shy of tying the program's all-time career record of 127 set by Brittany Croll's '05. The senior forward also has 31 assists in her career, four short of another program record, held by Eileen O'Reilly '10 with 35.
Santangello (13-2) was stellar in cage, picking up a career-high six saves through 70 minutes for her eighth shutout of the season while Cabrini's Taylor Bookman (12-8) sent back three attempts on the evening.
The Diplomats led in shots by a 14-7 margin, while the Cavaliers held a 10-5 edge in corners. Guarisco and Powell paced the attack with three shots apiece while Kerry Anne Farrell and Kylie McDevitt led the Cavaliers with two each.
Check back with GoDiplomats.com later this week for more information on Sunday's Sweet 16 matchup with Middlebury.