LANCASTER, Pa. – Two second-half goals in a 10-minute span lifted No. 11 Franklin & Marshall over Gwynedd Mercy by a 2-0 tally in the First Round of the NCAA Field Hockey Tournament on Wednesday evening.
The Diplomats improved to 17-3 and advanced to the program's eighth Sweet 16. The Griffins ended their season with a 13-7 record.
Following a scoreless first half, Erin Coverdale finally broke through the stalemate in the 51st minute. After collecting the penalty corner insert from Phoebe Wood, the junior forward made a move on a Griffins' defender and launched a shot from the top of the circle to give F&M the go-ahead goal at 1-0.
F&M increased the deficit to two less than 10 minutes later as Emma Durantine notched her first goal of the year off the assist from Coverdale, placing a long shot into the back of the cage.
Melissa Gula looked to get F&M on the board early in the first half, launching a shot from the top of the circle in the seventh minute, but Gwynedd Mercy's 'keeper came up with the stop.
Ilianna Santangelo came up with a huge save after the Griffins were awarded a penalty stroke in the 10th minute, keeping the contest even going into the break.
The Diplomats dominated possession, owning a 14-9 advantage in shots and a 16-4 edge in penalty corners. Coverdale led the offensive charge with seven shots, followed by Lily Mynott with six.
Santangelo (17-3) earned the win after turning away three shots. Gwynedd Mercy's delivered a 10-save effort.
F&M will travel to Glassboro, N.J. to take on Rochester Saturday for a 2:00 p.m. matchup.