LANCASTER, Pa. - Erin Coverdale's 84th-minute score capped off No. 10 Franklin & Marshall's 2-1 2OT instant-classic victory over Muhlenberg in Saturday's Centennial Conference (CC) Semifinals.
To watch Coverdale's golden goal, click here.
The Diplomats improved to 16-2 on the year and advanced into tomorrow's Championship, while the Mules' season drew to a close at 10-8. F&M has now advanced to eight-consecutive Centennial Finals.
In search of the program's second-straight CC Championship and fourth overall, the Diplomats will battle either No. 2 Johns Hopkins or No. 3 Ursinus tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in Lancaster.
Stay tuned to GoDiplomats.com for the latest information.
With a little less than seven minutes separating both teams from the first penalty stroke decider in CC Tournament history, Coverdale took control. The dynamic forward controlled possession in the circle and shoveled a shot on cage that was initially turned back by the Mules' goalkeeper.
However, Coverdale persisted, grabbing the rebound and sliding a back-handed opportunity into the back of the cage for the game winner. The score was Coverdale's CC-leading 18th of the year.
In the opening half of regulation, a broken play in the ninth minute allowed Muhlenberg to take an early 1-0 lead. Rachel Richards collected the ball along the end line and flicked a backhand shot on net. Ilianna Santangelo attempted to kick the ball safely away but missed, as the ball trickled into the lower-right side of the cage.
Following a Diplomat timeout, the F&M attack began to hit its stride, pushing the pace and placing sustained pressure on the Muhlenberg defense. However, the Mules held tough through the remainder of the frame, limiting scoring chances and heading into the break with a 6-3 advantage in shots.
In the second half, the Diplomats notched the equalizer with a 40th-minute score. Erin Coverdale set up the play on the top-right side of the circle, firing a shot on cage that was deflected underneath by Lily Mynott for her 11th tally of the season.
F&M's defense was dominant in the second frame, holding Muhlenberg without a shot while the Diplomats' offense fired away 15 of their own. None of those chances managed to light the scoreboard as the contest proceeded into overtime.
The Diplomats followed with additional golden chances in the second overtime stanza before Coverdale notched the deciding tally.
Overall, the shot count favored F&M at 23-8, including a 20-2 margin after the opening half of play. Coverdale led the attack with nine shots, followed by Mynott with four.
Goalkeeper Ilianna Santangelo (16-2) notched one save in 83:40 minutes to secure the win, while Jordan Seagrave (10-7) suffered the hard-luck loss despite a six-save performance.