Diplomats Overcome Monarchs in NCAA First Round

Diplomats Overcome Monarchs in NCAA First Round

LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall overcame an early 1-0 deficit, scoring two goals in nine minutes for a 2-1 victory over King's on Wednesday night in the first round of the NCAA Division III Field Hockey Tournament. The Diplomats improved their record to 15-4 with the victory, earning a third consecutive trip to the Sweet 16.

Down 1-0 lead after an early goal from the Monarchs, Erin Coverdale evened the game at 1-1 with a goal in the 17th minute. The freshman forward dispossessed a King's defender just 25 yards from goal, wiggled her way into the right side of the circle, and fired a shot across her body that King's goalkeeper Paige Tedik got a piece of, but could not stop on its way into the bottom-left corner. The goal was Coverdale's 10th of the season, and drew the Diplomats even after trailing for 13 minutes of action.

Emily Nagle nearly gave F&M a 2-1 lead when her shot hit the post in the 22nd minute, but it was Sydney Cole got in on the scoring in the 25th, deflecting an effort from Annie Horsley into the bottom-right corner of the cage. The goal, Cole's seventh of the season and second in three games, proved to be the game-winner after giving the Diplomats a 2-1 lead.

Late pressure in the form of two penalty corners kept F&M on the front foot in the closing moments of the first stanza, but at halftime the score remained 2-1 despite a 6-1 Diplomat lead in shots and an 8-0 deficit in corners.

The Diplomats continued to control possession in the second half, but were unable to extend the lead in the early moments. The Monarchs earned their first corner of the match in the 56th minute, but were unable to generate a shot. The F&M defense did not allow a shot for the entirety of the second half, allowing the Diplomats to hold on for the season-extending victory.

The Monarchs' brightest moment came just three minutes in, when leading scorer Brianna DiMaggio pounced on a missed clearance and tallied her 15th score of the year to give King's a 1-0 lead. However, the Monarchs were completely suffocated from then on, failing to attempt another shot as F&M finished the game with a 9-1 advantage in shots and an 11-1 lead in corners.

Coverdale tried three shots on the night to lead the Diplomat offense, while Consiglio added two. Ilianna Santangelo (15-4) earned the win in goal despite tallying zero saves.

The victory sends F&M into the Sweet 16 for the third consecutive season. The Diplomats will face TCNJ, national champions in 2014, at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday on the campus of Babson College in Wellesley, Mass.