ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A pair of second-half scores were too much for Franklin & Marshall's women's soccer team to overcome in a hard-fought 2-0 loss against Muhlenberg on Saturday afternoon in Allentown.
The Centennial Conference (CC)-opening defeat dropped the Diplomats to 0-4-1, 0-1 CC on the year, while the Mules improved to 3-2-1, 1-0 CC.
Neither squad entered the halftime break with an advantage as both defenses held tough through the opening 45 minutes of play. Muhlenberg seized a slight 4-2 lead in shots, as well as corners at 4-1.
The Mules came out firing to start the second and captured the 1-0 edge in the game's 49th minute. Danni Steigerwald opened the scoring by collecting a long through ball and finding the back of the net.
F&M battled and had its share of opportunities on goal, including a Lauren Kranis header in the 74th minute that sailed wide to the right. However, Muhlenberg managed to strike a dagger in the 88th, taking the decisive 2-0 lead with a one-on-one opportunity that resulted in a Kayleigh Durning score.
The overall shot count favored the Mules by an 11-5 margin, as well as corners at 4-2. Ryan O'Rourke, Sarah Laterza, Sam Springer, Nicolette Runko, and Kranis were each credited with a shot for the Diplomats.
Goalkeeper Gabby Panayotakis (0-3-1) suffered the loss in net after recording three saves in 90 minutes of competition. Muhlenberg's Libby Juliano (3-2-1) came away with the win after turning back one attempt on goal.
F&M returns to out-of-conference action on Tuesday, hitting the road to face Hood at 4:00 p.m.