Diplomats Hang Tough with No. 20 Swarthmore

Diplomats Hang Tough with No. 20 Swarthmore

Box Score

LANCASTER, Pa. - Goalkeeper Gabby Panayotakis recorded a season-high 18 saves for Franklin & Marshall's women's soccer team in a hard-fought 3-0 loss against the nation's No. 20-ranked Swarthmore Garnet on Saturday afternoon in Lancaster. 

The Centennial Conference (CC) defeat dropped the Diplomats to 1-7-1, 0-4 CC on the year, while Swarthmore remained unbeaten at 9-0-1, 3-0-1 CC.

F&M's defense was tested early by the potent Swarthmore attack, but Panayotakis kept the Garnet off the scoreboard in the opening minutes with some key saves, including a diving play in the game's 14th minute that cut off a well-placed cross inside the 18-yard box.

However, Swarthmore finally broke through in the 28th with a slew of shots on the box. Panayotakis turned back the initial attempt, but the Garnet's Grace Taylor followed with the rebound shot to the top-right of the goal for the 1-0 edge.

Neither team managed to score through the remainder of the frame as Swarthmore entered the halftime break with a 25-2 edge in shots and a 6-0 advantage on corners.

F&M's defense continued to weather the storm in the second half as the backline helped Panayotakis by limiting quality scoring chances, despite Swarthmore's dominance in possession. The Diplomats managed to keep it a one-score game until the 70th minute when the Garnet tacked in off a corner kick. Amy Harris hooked in a ball from the far side that hit off of Panayotakis' hands and was cleaned up by Yasmeen Namzie for the 2-0 lead. 

Two minutes later, F&M nearly got on the board with its best scoring chance of the afternoon. Haley Barge had a shot attempt blocked in the box, and Allison Klei's rebound chance sailed just high of the crossbar.

Swarthmore wrapped up the scoring in the 84th minute with a scrum in front of the net that resulted in a low Garnet shot that slipped below Panyotakis for the 3-0 final. 

Despite picking up the loss, Panayotakis (0-4-1) was spectacular in net throughout the game and came up just two saves shy of her career-high output of 20, which she set back on Sept. 20, 2017, against Dickinson. Her counterpart Chantal Reyes (8-0-1) earned the win after appearing in the opening 45 minutes of action and being relieved by Sydney White after halftime. 

Overall, shots were in Swarthmore's favor at 38-5, as well as corners at 11-0. Barge and Sam Springer paced the Diplomat offense with two each. 

F&M continues CC competition on Wednesday, traveling to McDaniel for a 4:00 p.m. contest.