LANCASTER, Pa. - For the first time ever, the road to the Centennial Conference (CC) field hockey championship will go through Lancaster as seventh-ranked Franklin & Marshall clinched the CC regular season title and home-field advantage in the CC tournament with a 5-0 drubbing of visiting Gettysburg on Wednesday night at Tylus Field.
With the victory the Diplomats move to 14-2 overall, remain perfect in CC play at 9-0 and will host the CC playoffs for the first time in program history. The loss drops the Bullets to 7-8 (5-4 CC) and into a four-way tie for fourth place in the CC with one game remaining.
Becky Willert and Kristen Zublin eached notched a pair of goals to lead the way for F&M. Willert opened the scoring in the seventh minute after a well-executed penalty corner by the Diplomats. Chelsey Talhelm sent the corner to the top of the circle, where Maura Hennigan slid the ball to her left to Steph McDonald on the left side. McDonald then unloaded a shot towards goal that was re-directed by Willert and F&M led, 1-0.
Willert added another tally in the 27th minute off a setup from Hennigan. After stripping a Gettysburg defender of the ball on the right side, Hennigan dribbled towards goal and slipped a cross to the stick of Willert, who one-timed it home for her 25th goal of the year.
Zublin made it a comfortable 3-0 margin for F&M in the 50th minute. Willert was again in the mix - this time on the other end of a score - as she sent a long cross from the right to the center of the box and Zublin ripped it into the cage to push the Diplomats out to a three-goal advantage.
McDonald and Zublin rounded out the scoring late in the second frame with goals less than a minute apart. McDonald registered her first goal of the year with a strike from the top left of the circle, assisted by Hennigan, before Zublin made it 5-0 with an unassisted score from close range just 46 ticks later.
Goalkeeper Avery Koep posted her sixth shutout of the year with five saves to earn the win for F&M. Megan Feeg totaled four saves in the loss for the Bullets, while Alexis Bralow tallied one stop after relieving Feeg for the final 14:52.
No. 7 F&M wraps up its regular season on Saturday, Oct. 29 with a CC tilt against Dickinson at 1:00 pm.
Gettysburg (7-8, 5-4 CC) vs. # 7 Franklin & Marshall (14-2, 9-0 CC)
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Gettysburg.......... 0 0 - 0
Franklin & Marshall. 2 3 - 5
1. 6:03 F&M Becky Willert (24) (Steph McDonald) - one-timed shot one pass after corner
2. 26:38 F&M Becky Willert (25) (Maura Hennigan) - cross from left
3. 49:51 F&M Kristen Zublin (2) (Becky Willert) - cross from right
4. 59:40 F&M Steph McDonald (1) (Maura Hennigan) - top left of circle after corner
5. 60:26 F&M Kristen Zublin (3) (unassisted) - dribbled in on left side shot from close range
Shots: Gettysburg 8, Franklin & Marshall 15
Saves: Gettysburg 6 (Megan Feeg 4; Alexis Bralow 1; TEAM 1), Franklin & Marshall 5 (Avery Koep 4; TEAM 1)
F&M clinches CC regular season title