Hats Off to Willert, Diplomats Remain Unbeaten
LANCASTER, Pa. - Becky Willert continues to dazzle for the Franklin & Marshall field hockey team as she recorded her second hat trick of the season to lift the 13th-ranked Diplomats past visiting McDaniel, 4-0, in Centennial Conference action on Tuesday night at Tylus Field. F&M (6-0, 2-0 CC) posted its fourth straight shutout to secure the win, while the loss is the first of the year for the Green Terror (4-1, 1-1 CC).
Yet another team fell victim to Willert's goal-scoring prowess as the senior forward now has a team-high 12 scores on the year. Willert also added an assist in F&M's victory, upping her season point total to a team and conference-leading 27.
After 50 minutes of scoreless play, the Diplomats were finally able to break through the stingy McDaniel defense just over 16 minutes into the second stanza. Diana Aulisa collected a cross from Willert in front of the goal-mouth and slid it past Green Terror goalkeeper Stephanie Thomson for a 1-0 F&M edge.
Three minutes later, F&M would strike again as Willert capitalized off a feed from Maura Hennigan. Hennigan found a wide-open Willert positioned to the right of the goal near the endline and Willert slipped a close-range shot into the near post to give the Diplomats a two-goal advantage.
In the 65th minute, the Hennigan-to-Willert combination worked once again as F&M took a 3-0 lead. Willert then capped off the hat trick with just 21 ticks remaining on the clock off an assist from Aulisa to give the Diplomats their final 4-0 margin of victory.
While Willert and the F&M offense put together another fine performance, the Diplomat defense was equally impressive as they held the Green Terror to just four shots and very few quality looks at the cage.
Avery Koep posted a clean-sheet for the fourth straight game and totaled three saves in the win. Thomson notched 10 saves for the McDaniel in a losing effort, but was a key factor in keeping the Green Terror in the contest as she delivered several stellar saves, particularly in the first half.
The 13th-ranked Diplomats will travel to 2nd-ranked Ursinus on Saturday, Sept. 24 for an early-season Centennial Conference showdown against the defending CC champions. Game time is set for 12:00 pm in Collegeville, Pa.
McDaniel (4-1, 1-1 CC) vs. Franklin & Marshall (6-0, 2-0 CC)
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
McDaniel............ 0 0 - 0
Franklin & Marshall. 0 4 - 4
1. 51:02 F&M Diana Aulisa (1) (Becky Willert) - cross from right, slid on ground
2. 54:16 F&M Becky Willert (10) (Maura Hennigan) - slid past keeper on near post a few yards from endline
3. 64:54 F&M Becky Willert (11) (Maura Hennigan)
4. 69:39 F&M Becky Willert (12) (Diana Aulisa)
Shots: McDaniel 4, Franklin & Marshall 22
Saves: McDaniel 11 (Stephanie Thomson 10; TEAM 1), Franklin & Marshall
3 (Avery Koep 3)