LANCASTER, Pa. – Kevin Mollihan's overtime goal with just nine seconds remaining in the period, delivered the No. 12 Franklin & Marshall men's lacrosse team its first-ever Centennial Conference (CC) Championship with a 9-8 victory over No. 19 Gettysburg on Saturday afternoon.
To watch Mollihan's game winner, click here.
Mollihan totaled a game-high six goals on the day to earn Tournament MVP honors for the Diplomats, who improved to 15-2 on the season, while the Bullets dropped to 11-6. The Championship is the first Conference Title for F&M since the 1990 season when the Diplomats were part of the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC), and the 10th overall for the program.
F&M earns the CC's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, making the field for the first time since 2003 and the fifth time in history. The Diplomats learn their NCAA Tournament journey on Sunday, May 7 at 9:00 p.m. when the Championship bracket is announced on NCAA.com. Stay tuned to GoDiplomats.com for the latest updates involving the Diplomats' playoff information.
Possession belonged to the Diplomats for the entire overtime period with F&M collecting six clutch ground balls in the frame. In the closing seconds, Mollihan wrapped around the back of the cage and sent a falling shot on goal that made its way past the Gettysburg 'keeper for the winner.
Mollihan got F&M on the board first after striking with an up goal just 36 seconds into action. That 1-0 score held until 14:07 remaining in the second quarter when Tucker McBride notched an unassisted tally for the two-goal advantage. Each team traded markers to make it 3-1 before the Bullets drew within one off a goal from Blake Gray with 6:36 left before the break.
After the break, Mollihan tallied two consecutive goals, with Ellis Llewellyn and Sean Rogers assisting on the scores, to give F&M a 6-4 advantage. Both teams traded goals before Gettysburg recorded three straight to pull ahead by one at 8-7 with 9:43 left in the fourth. The Diplomats stopped the bleeding with 4:25 remaining when Tucker McBride evened the score off an unassisted goal to send the contest into overtime.
Goalkeeper Scott Hatch (15-2) put forth a career effort for the Diplomats with 14 saves, including five in the fourth quarter.
Following Mollihan's six scores, T. McBride was next with two, followed by Rama with one. Rogers notched a pair of helpers. Shots favored Gettysburg by a 44-34 margin, however, F&M outshot the Bullets 4-0 in overtime.