SALISBURY, Md. – Franklin & Marshall's No. 6 women's lacrosse team survived a fervent second-half comeback from No. 13 Brockport on Saturday afternoon, holding on for the 11-9 win and advancing to the NCAA Regional Finals. The Diplomats improved to 20-2 with the victory and will take on No. 3 Salisbury tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. for a chance to earn their second consecutive Final Four berth while the Golden Eagles' season came to an end with a 15-4 mark.
Brockport held its only lead of the afternoon with a 2-1 advantage at the 14:49 mark in the opening half before Paige Moriarty made history, tallying her 77th goal of the season to knot the contest and break the program's single-season points mark with 107. The sophomore attacker passed Lauren Petrella '94 on the school's all-time list.
Grace Saliba followed with three straight tallies to put the Diplomats in front by four, before feeding Natalie Delinsky at 5:10 remaining to stretch the lead to 6-2. However, Brockport struck unassisted with just 23 seconds left in the first half to cut into F&M's momentum heading into the break.
In the second, both teams traded tallies to keep the deficit to three at 8-5 with 23:53 to go, before the Golden Eagles rattled off three consecutive scores that tied the contest at 8-8 with 14:11 remaining on the clock.
A free-position goal from Anastasia Mergner at 11:37, and a Gabby Frank score three minutes later, once again put F&M in front by two. Brockport answered with a free-position tally at 9:23 to pull within one, but the Diplomats won the ensuing draw control and held the Golden Eagles to just one shot for the remainder of the game. F&M sealed the win by notching the insurance score off an unassisted goal from Mergner with 1:58 left.
Saliba dominated on offense with five goals and two assists, Mergner netted a pair of scores and assisted on two more and Delinsky recorded two goals with one assist. Defender Sarah Bozzo collected three ground balls and caused three turnovers while Mergner and Vanessa Budd also caused three turnovers on the day.
Goalkeeper Danielle Harrington (16-1) registered two saves in the win, and Sara Shaddock (14-4) stopped six shots for Brockport in the loss.
The Diplomats are set to square off against Salisbury, who advanced after downing Colorado College by a lopsided 17-7 score earlier in the day, tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in Maryland. Live video for the Elite Eight matchup is available by clicking here.