HARTFORD, Conn. – Franklin & Marshall's No. 5 women's lacrosse team notched a pair of goals in a furious, final-minute comeback bid during Saturday's NCAA Sweet 16 matchup against No. 10 Trinity, but fell just short by a narrow 13-12 score.
The Diplomats' season came to a close with a 17-5 mark while the Bantams, who have knocked F&M out of the Tournament in each of the last three years, improved to 16-4 and will play the winner of No. 4 Messiah and No. 11 York in the Regional Final on Sunday.
Today's back-and-forth contest proved to be a tale of two halves. F&M came out firing and seized the early momentum with four straight goals to take a 4-0 lead at 21:14 remaining in the first. Gabby Frank and Paige Moriarty had registered unassisted markers before Caroline Kolva followed with two in a row.
Trinity finally got on the board at 19:37 but the Diplomats answered back with a Siobhan Burke goal off a feed from Hannah Serling at 16:09, and Moriarty's second of the frame at 11:31, for the commanding 6-1 advantage. In the final minutes of the half, the Bantams stopped the bleeding with the last two scores of the frame to head into the break down by three.
In the second, Moriarty recorded the hat trick with a free-position tally at 28:06 to extend the lead to 7-3. Each team traded goals with Grace Norley making it an 8-4 game at 23:49 before Trinity took over with a run of eight consecutive scores. The Bantams held F&M scoreless for 15 minutes during their streak, seizing the improbable 12-8 lead.
The Diplomats proved to have a run of their own left in them when Moriarty bookended a Trinity goal at 7:48 with a pair of scores to total five goals in the game and cut the deficit to 13-10 with 5:03 left on the board.
Vanessa Budd found Gabby Frank with just 54 seconds to go before Melissa Judge secured the ensuing draw control to keep hope alive for F&M. Following a Trinity foul, Frank capitalized on a free-position opportunity with 26 seconds left to make it 13-12. However, time was not on the Diplomats' side as Trinity won the final draw of the game and played keep away until the clock hit zero.
Moriarty scored five goals and added one assist to reach the 100-point plateau for the second straight season, ending her year with 101 (56 G, 45 A). Frank added three goals, Kolva tallied a pair, and Hannah Serling was credited with two assists.
Frank and Taylor Freud both collected two ground balls while Judge recorded four draw controls and Moriarty followed with three. Shots belonged to Trinity at 32-20 as well as draw controls at 16-11, including an 11-6 edge in the second half.
Danielle Harrington notched a season-high 12 saves in 60 minutes of action but fell to 15-5 on the year with the loss, while Zoe Ferguson (16-4) was dealt the win despite just four saves on 16 shots.