LANCASTER, Pa. - A dominant defensive effort led Franklin & Marshall's No. 4 field hockey team to a 1-0 blanking of FDU-Florham on Wednesday evening at Tylus Field.
The non-conference shutout marked the third-straight to open the season for the Diplomats, who improved to 3-0 and have now held opponents scoreless through the first 216 minutes of action in 2018. The Devils were handed their first loss of the season and dropped to 2-1.
F&M notched the game's only goal in the 19th minute, as Katie O'Loughlin opened the play by inserting a penalty corner to Emma Durantine on the left side of the circle. The sophomore defender slid a well-placed pass to Melissa Gula on the right side, who sent in a long shot that deflected off of a Devils' defender and into the lower-left part of the cage.
F&M's offense dominated possession through the first half of play and entered the halftime break with a 9-1 lead in the shot count and a 6-1 edge in corners.
Stingy defense by both sides limited scoring chances in the second half. The Diplomats found their offensive rhythm during the later stages of the frame, firing off a total of 13 shots in the stanza, but were unable to add on.
Overall, the Diplomats outshot the Devils by a staggering 22-3 margin, while dominating on penalty corners at 20-1. Forward Erin Coverdale led the F&M offense with eight shots, including three on goal, while a trio of Gula, Caitlin Morrissey, and Emily Nagle each tallied three.
Reigning NFHCA Defensive Player of the Week Ilianna Santangelo (3-0) earned her third straight shutout in cage with a one-save performance, while FDU-Florham's Samantha Rubin (2-1) was dealt the loss despite stopping five shots.
F&M returns to action on Saturday, traveling to Mary Washington for a 1:00 p.m. matchup.