CHESTERTOWN, Md. – A burst of Nicolette Runko goals in the early stages of the second half lifted Franklin & Marshall's women's soccer team to a clutch 2-0 shutout of Washington College in Centennial Conference (CC) play Saturday evening.
The Diplomats (8-5-1, 4-4 CC) won their third-straight CC decision to stay in the thick of the Playoff chase heading into the final two weeks of the regular season while the Shorewomen fell to 4-7-3, 1-5-2 CC.
Goalkeeper Sara Ghorashi (6-5) headlined another staunch defensive effort from F&M, earning her third shutout of the season and second in row after registering four saves.
The first half saw neither team tally a goal, but the Diplomats held a slight 3-2 edge in shots and a dominant 6-0 advantage in corners.
Seven minutes into the second, F&M's fortunes began to change as Emilee Adami sent a cross into the box that found the head of Runko, who placed her attempt into the right side of the net for her seventh of the season and a 1-0 Diplomat lead.
Less than two minutes passed before Runko and the Diplomats tacked on. This time Meg O'Callahan connected with the senior defender for her team-leading eighth of the season. The play started with a mishandled ball by the Washington goalkeeper that was eventually cleaned up by Runko for the decisive two-goal lead.
Overall, the shot count favored F&M at 10-7, as well as corners at 6-0. Runko tallied five shots, while Catie Kaseta notched three.
Runko has been on fire of late with five goals in her previous three games.
Only two Centennial contests remain on F&M's schedule. The Diplomats pick up action next Saturday, hosting Bryn Mawr for both homecoming and senior day at 3:00 p.m. on Tylus.