May 22, 2010

First Half Surge Ends Diplomats Title Hopes

GETTYSBURG, Pa. – A five goal run in the first half powered Hamilton to a 12-7 win over Franklin & Marshall in the NCAA Division III Semifinals at Gettysburg on Saturday. The loss leaves the Diplomats out of the NCAA title game for the first time since 2006. Hamilton will face the winner of the Salisbury/Gettysburg semifinal on Clark Field on Sunday.

The Continentals' (21-0) early run saw several goals scored square on the Diplomats' (16-4) doorstep. A Rachel Friedman face dodge left her on top of the goal circle for an easy finish at 23:40, breaking a 1-1 tie and sparking a five-goal Hamilton run over the next ten minutes. Friedman capped the run with a bounce shot from out in front with plenty of open real estate around her. In between, Audrey Vebergall scored a goal and assisted on another.

Sarah Veneski's insert feed to Hargest from the right side broke the Continentals' run and made it 6-2 with 12:15 in the first half. Cat Serpe collected a Hargest pass and made a patient run through a handful of defenders to get F&M back within three. Hamilton, however, scored twice going into the half to take an 8-3 lead into the break.

The Diplomats struggled for the game's first 30 minutes. F&M turned the ball of over a dozen times in the first half, including five unforced errors, and failed on five of a dozen clears.

Hamilton netted the first pair after the break to make it 10-3 before F&M's offense came to life. Taking advantage of less traffic in the midfield as the result of a Hamilton yellow card, the Diplomats scored a pair 40 seconds apart. Veneski set Lussier with a feed from behind before Blake Hargest buried a Lauren Ehrhardt pass on the top of the circle.

Hamilton's Kate Otley answered before Hargest and Lussier struck again to make it 11-7 with 14:27 left, but an F&M Yellow card took the wind out of the Diplomats' sails. F&M was socked with three yellow cards down the stretch.

Hamilton out-shot F&M 28-14. The Diplomats had a Maggie Mae Shield's goal waved off for a crease violation on her follow through. Kate Folwer had five stops in the Continentals' cage with four coming in the second half. Lidia Sanza turned away nine with seven coming in the second half to give the Diplomats a fighting chance.

Gravely, Nebergall and Friedman each scored a pair for Hamilton, with Gravely adding two assists. Sarah Bray scored once and assisted on a pair. Hargest finished the game with a hat trick to lead all scorers, while Lussier wrapped the day with a pair of goals. Meghan Cohen came off of the bench to provide a solid defensive effort for F&M. She recorded four ground balls, caused two turnovers and won a draw control. Paulette Cutruzzula also recorded four ground balls.

The loss wraps the Diplomats' season at 16-4.

F&M's NCAA Division III All-Tournament Selections: Blake Hargest and Sarah Veneski.

Franklin & Marshall (16-4) vs. Hamilton (21-0)

SCORE BY PERIOD       1  2  Tot

Franklin & Marshall.  3  4 -  7

Hamilton............  8  4 - 12

Franklin & Marshall SCORING: GOALS: Blake Hargest 3; Meredith Lussier 2; Cat Serpe 1; Laura Ruppersberger 1.  ASSISTS: Sarah Veneski 3; Lauren Ehrhardt 1.

Hamilton SCORING: GOALS: Anne Graveley 2; Rachel Friedman 2; Audrey Nebergall 2; Sarah Bray 1; Liz Rave 1; Libby Schultz 1; Ashley Allen 1; Hilary Saverin 1; Kate Otley 1.  ASSISTS: Sarah Bray 2; Anne Graveley 2.

Franklin & Marshall GROUND BALLS: Meghan Cohen 4; Paulette Cutruzzula 4; Erin Dunne 2; Maggie Mae Shields 2; Amanda Miceli 2; Meredith Lussier 1; Laura Ruppersberger 1; Cat Serpe 1; Margaret Shanley 1.

Hamilton GROUND BALLS: Lauren Sokol 3; Ashley Allen 2; Paige Engeldrum 2; Rachel Friedman 2; Anne Graveley 2; Caroline Morgan 2; Sarah Bray 1; Kate Fowler 1; Liz Rave 1; Hilary Saverin 1.

Franklin & Marshall TURNOVERS CAUSED: Meghan Cohen 2; Amanda Miceli 2; Katie Delaney 1; Erin Dunne 1; Maggie Mae Shields 1; Laura Ruppersberger 1; Cat Serpe 1; Margaret Shanley 1.

SHOTS - Franklin & Marshall 14; Hamilton 28.

SHOTS ON GOAL - Franklin & Marshall 12; Hamilton 21.

TURNOVERS - Franklin & Marshall 21; Hamilton 17.

CLEARS - Franklin & Marshall 15-20; Hamilton 21-21.

GOALIES - F&M: Lidia Sanza 16-4 (60:00 minutes, 21 shots-9 saves, 12 GA); HAMW: Kate Fowler 21-0 (60:00, 12-5, 7).

Start time: 11:00 am  Finish time: 12:46 pm  Length of game: 1:40

Officials: Patty Kletcha-Porter; Barbara Almond; Debbie Martin; Laura Hebert. Scorer: GC Sports Info.

A-1100 T-1:40