LANCASTER, Pa. - In a back-and-forth battle between two of the top 20 teams in the nation, 19th-ranked Lebanon Valley rallied from a second-half deficit to defeat fourth-ranked Franklin & Marshall, 3-2, in non-conference action on a rainy Wednesday night at Tylus Field. The loss ends the Diplomats' (12-2) nine-game home winning streak, while the Dutchmen (12-4) have now won eight straight.
Cate Cusak gave LVC a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute with her eighth goal of the season. Cusak followed up on the rebound from a Bridget Monighan strike to give the Dutchmen the initial advantage.
LVC's edge wouldn't last long as Chelsey Talhelm struck paydirt for F&M less than four minutes later. Talhelm fired a strike to the lower-left side of the cage after collecting her own rebounded miss to even the count at 1-1.
The Diplomats then took the lead three minutes after halftime, once again off a loose rebound in front of goal, this time coming from the stick of Allison McLaren. Steph McDonald sent a cross from the left edge of the circle to McLaren, who was positioned in front of goal. The senior forward's first attempt was stymied by LVC goalkeeper Christine Poletti, but her second shot found the cage and F&M led, 2-1.
LVC countered in the 52nd minute as Jenni Walker ripped a shot from the right side that deflected off an F&M stick into goal to knot the game at 2-2.
After evening the score, the Dutchmen continued to put pressure on the Diplomat defense over the next several minutes and made it count with just under 11 minutes remaining. Bridget Monighan sent a penalty corner to the stick of Jess Cox at the top of the circle and Cox rifled a shot past a slew of defenders for what would prove to be the game-winner score.
The Diplomats created several quality chances over the final 10 minutes - none better than Talhelm's attempt in the 64th minute that sailed wide - but the LVC defense held strong and the visitors walked away with the win.
Goalkeeper Avery Koep notched three saves in the loss for F&M, while LVC's Poletti also tallied three saves to earn the victory.
The Dutchmen held slight advantages in both shots (12-10) and penalty corners (10-7) as the two sides proved to be evenly matched throughout.
No. 4 F&M returns to Centennial Conference action on Saturday, Oct. 22 at Washington College. Game time is set for 1:00 pm in Chestertown, Md.
#19 Lebanon Valley (12-4) vs. #4 Franklin & Marshall (12-2)
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Lebanon Valley...... 1 2 - 3
Franklin & Marshall. 1 1 - 2
1. 23:48 LVC Cate Cusack (8) (unassisted) - shot off rebound
2. 27:21 F&M Chelsey Talhelm (13) (unassisted) - off own rebound to left side
3. 37:58 F&M Allison McLaren (8) (unassisted) - off own rebound
4. 51:46 LVC Jenni Walker (5) (Kelsey Miller) - shot from right deflected off stick and in
5. 59:03 LVC Jess Cox (6) (Bridget Monighan) - directly off corner strike from top of circle
Shots: Lebanon Valley 12, Franklin & Marshall 10
Saves: Lebanon Valley 3 (Christine Poletti 3), Franklin & Marshall 5 (Avery Koep 3; TEAM 2)