Second Half Surge Leads Diplomats over Mount Union

Second Half Surge Leads Diplomats over Mount Union

LANCASTER, Pa. – No. 6 Franklin & Marshall scored nine unanswered in the second half to defeat Mount Union 14-3 in the second round of the NCAA Women's Lacrosse Tournament on Sunday afternoon at Tylus Field.  The Diplomats improved to 19-2 and will face Brockport at Salisbury in the third round of the tournament next Saturday while the Raiders finished the year with a 16-4 mark. 

F&M opened the scoring early in the first as Grace Saliba found Gabby Frank in front to give the Diplomats a 1-0 lead with 25:32 on the clock. Paige Moriarty extended the lead with a pair of quick goals, taking a feed from Anastasia Mergner at 23:57 before Samantha Blicht found Moriarty at 22:12 to make the score 3-0.

Mount Union stopped the F&M run at 17:35 with a free position goal before closing the gap to 3-2 with 15:09 remaining in the opening frame. The Purple Raiders tied the score at 3-3 with 7:13 to go, but goals from Claire Jackson at 4:21 and Saliba with 22 seconds left gave the Diplomats a 5-3 edge at halftime.

It was all F&M in the second half as the Diplomats continued its run from the first and extended the Raiders scoring drought to more than 37 minutes. Saliba, Maddie Hughes, Caroline Kolva and Claire Jackson led F&M on a 4-0 spurt in the first nine minutes of action before Mergner found Moriarty at 17:25 for a 9-3 lead. Jackson made it 10-3 and Frank connected with Saliba a minute later to put the Diplomats up 11-3.

Saliba found Moriarty at 9:47 for a 12-3 F&M lead and Mergner made it 13-3 with a tally at 9:20. Moriarty found Natalie Delinsky at 2:40 for the final point of the game. That assist gave Moriarty 106 points this year and tied the school mark for points in a season set by Lauren Petrella '94.

Stephanie Speese led the defense with five ground balls and four caused turnovers and Blicht added four caused turnovers as well. Vanessa Budd had three caused turnovers and three draws and Mergner added four ground balls.

Moriarty finished with four goals and one assist; Saliba had two scores with two helpers and Jackson netted three scores for the Diplomats. Mergner had a goal and two assists; Frank scored once with an assist, while Delinsky, Kolva and Hughes all finished with a score.

Danielle Harrington improved to 15-1 with five saves and six ground balls and Nikki Bonaduce took the loss with 10 stops.

Stay tuned to GoDiplomats.com later in the week for more details of F&M's next game.