COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. - Chelsey Talhelm recorded a hat trick to lead the No. 13 Franklin & Marshall field hockey team to a statement-making 5-1 victory over No. 2 Ursinus on Saturday afternoon in Centennial Conference (CC) play. The Diplomats (7-0, 3-0 CC) remain unbeaten and now sit alone atop the CC standings with the win, while the Bears (6-1, 3-1 CC) fall for the first time in 2011.
With the victory, F&M hands Ursinus, the seven-time defending CC champion, its first CC regular season loss since Oct. 6, 2007 - a 3-2 Diplomat triumph in Lancaster. This marks just the second defeat for the Bears in the CC regular season since they joined the conference in 2003.
F&M put together impressive performances at both ends of the field to secure the win. The Diplomats' five goals are the most allowed by the Bears since Sept. 9, 2006, while the F&M defense clamped down on an Ursinus offense that came into the contest averaging nearly six goals per game.
The Diplomats took control of the contest early on as they fired off nine of their 11 first-half shots in the opening 13 minutes, two of which resulted in scores.
Becky Willert began the scoring for F&M with her conference-leading 13th goal of the season in the 9th minute off an assist from Maura Hennigan. Willert was positioned near the left post of the goal and ripped a shot into the right corner for a 1-0 F&M edge.
A little over four minutes later, Talhelm found paydirt for the first time on the afternoon after connecting on a cross from Allison McLaren to give the Diplomats an early 2-0 advantage.
F&M carried its two-goal cushion into the second half and wasted little time in stretching the lead to three as Talhelm struck again just 1:37 after the halftime intermission on an assist from Rachel Cooke.
McLaren then got involved in the scoring onslaught in the 47th minute, tallying her fifth goal of the year, unassisted, following a rebound in front of the goal-mouth for a 4-0 F&M lead. Less than two minutes later, Talhelm capped off the hat trick to conclude the scoring for the Diplomats.
Jenna Stover found the back of the cage for Ursinus in the 55th minute after a penalty corner to bring the count to 5-1, but the Diplomat defense held Ursinus without a shot for the remainder of regulation to close out the win.
Goalkeeper Avery Koep totaled a season-high eight saves on the day to pick up the win, while Jill Lukens tallied five saves in the loss.
F&M returns to action on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at Susquehanna in a non-conference matchup at 7:00 pm.
Franklin & Marshall (7-0, 3-0) vs. Ursinus (6-1, 3-1)
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Franklin & Marshall. 2 3 - 5
Ursinus............. 0 1 - 1
1. 8:25 F&M Becky Willert (Maura Hennigan) - from 7, 23 from left post into right corner
2. 12:49 F&M Chelsey Talhelm (Allison McLaren) - cross in front of net, in from left post
3. 36:37 F&M Chelsey Talhelm (Rachel Cooke) - from 6, left post into right corner
4. 46:40 F&M Allison McLaren (unassisted) - off rebound into net
5. 48:37 F&M Chelsey Talhelm (unassisted) - unassisted
6. 54:04 UC Jenna Stover Penalty corner - own goal on F&M after shot by 3
Shots: Franklin & Marshall 21, Ursinus 17
Saves: Franklin & Marshall 8 (Avery Koep 8), Ursinus 6 (Jill Lukens 5; TEAM 1)