March 19, 2011

Diplomats Defense Stubborn Against Mules

LANCASTER, Pa. – #4 Franklin & Marshall employed a lockdown defense to defeat Muhlenberg 11-4 in the Centennial Conference (CC) opener for both teams.

The Mules (4-2, 0-1 CC) averaged 14.4 goals over their first five games of the season. On Saturday, the Diplomats (5-1) limited their guests to just 14 shots on the afternoon. F&M caused seven turnovers and had keeper Kelsey Hoffman backing them up with five saves.  First-year defender Libby Nichols and sophomore midfielder Maggie Mae Shields each forced two turnovers. Nichols collected three ground balls.

F&M held Muhlenberg scoreless for the first 18:37 of play before Danielle Rosen cashed in on a free position attempt, making it a 3-1 game. Lauren Ehrhardt put F&M on the board 7:46 in, collecting a Caroline Krohn feed from behind the net. Ehrhardt finished the game with a hat trick. After Ehrhardt's first, the Diplomats got back-to-back free position goals from Shields and Katie Delaney, respectively.

F&M scored three over the final 4:41 of the first half to take a 6-1 lead into the break. Ehrhardt started the second Diplomats run of the game capitalizing on a brilliant effort by Mary McNutt. McNutt went straight down the middle of the Muhlenberg backend, drawing a handful of defenders and leaving Erhardt all alone on the left post to make it a 4-1 game. Three minutes later, Lauren Selawski rolled out from behind the left side of the cage and dumped in what became the game-winning goal. It was her second clincher of the season. Cat Serpe finished a quick stick set up by Selawski with 26 ticks in the first half for good measure.

Erin Dunne faked a defender out of the play to make it a 7-1 game with an unassisted tally early in the second, before an F&M miscue gave Muhlenberg's offense a freebie. As F&M started up a clear, Anne Brockmyer's pass intended for Hoffman sailed well over the keeper's head about 15 yards out in front of the cage. Christine Van Hise collected the ground ball and fed Alex Bellini. She fed the gaping goalmouth to cash in on the Diplomats' only broken clear in the contest.

Exactly 60 seconds later, Dunne made two moves through the middle of the Muhlenberg defense, quickly followed by Ehrhardt's final goal to eliminate any doubt. F&M's Mary Mitchell traded goals with the Mules leading scorer, Angela Napoletano for the game's final four tallies. Mitchell's goals followed in Dunne's footsteps of solo runs through the middle of the defense.

Napoletano, who averaged 3.8 goals per game coming in, got her first when the outcome was no longer in doubt, bouncing a shot past Hoffman with 15:44 remaining. She struck again with 7:07 in the game on what amounted to a free position shot given the set up following a foul just outside of the fan. F&M's defense has held the opposition's leading scorer at least a goal below their season average in each home game this season. Last Saturday, F&M sent Stevenson's leading scorer home without a point.

The Diplomats return to action next Friday night when the defending national champions, Salisbury, brings their top-ranked team to Lancaster.

Muhlenberg (4-2, 0-1 CC) vs. #4  Franklin & Marshall (5-1, 1-0 CC)

SCORE BY PERIOD       1  2  Tot

Muhlenberg..........  1  3 -  4

Franklin & Marshall.  6  5 - 11

Muhlenberg SCORING: GOALS: Angela Napoletano 2; Danielle Rosen 1; Alex Bellini 1.

ASSISTS: Christine Van Hise 1.

Franklin & Marshall SCORING: GOALS: Lauren Ehrhardt 3; Erin Dunne 2; Mary Mitchell 2; Lauren Selawski 1; Maggie Mae Shields 1; Cat Serpe 1; Katie Delaney 1.

ASSISTS: Caroline Krohn 1; Mary McNutt 1; Lauren Selawski 1; Maggie Mae Shields 1.

GOALIES - MUHL: Allison Vachon 4-2 (60:00 minutes, 15 shots-4 saves, 11 GA); F&M: Kelsey Hoffman 3-0 (60:00, 9-5, 4).

SHOTS - Muhlenberg 13; Franklin & Marshall 21.

SHOTS ON GOAL - Muhlenberg 9; Franklin & Marshall 15.

TURNOVERS - Muhlenberg 15; Franklin & Marshall 14.

FACEOFFS - Muhlenberg 0-0; Franklin & Marshall 0-0.

CLEARS - Muhlenberg 11-17; Franklin & Marshall 12-13.

Muhlenberg GROUND BALLS: Alexandra Franck 7; Maggie Sullivan 4; Jill Freda 1; Christine Van Hise 1; Kaitlyn McCaffrey 1.

Franklin & Marshall GROUND BALLS: Erin Dunne 3; Kelsey Hoffman 3; Libby Nichols 3; Megan Cohen 1; Lauren Ehrhardt 1; Mary McNutt 1; Jennifer Noon 1; Lauren Selawski 1; Cat Serpe 1; Maggie Mae Shields 1.

Muhlenberg TURNOVERS CAUSED: Alexandra Franck 3; Maggie Sullivan 2; Kaitlyn McCaffrey 1; Angela Napoletano 1. 

Franklin & Marshall TURNOVERS CAUSED: Libby Nichols 2; Maggie Mae Shields 2; Megan Cohen 1; Erin Dunne 1; Lauren Selawski 1.

Start time: 4:00pm    Finish time: 5:35      Length of game: 1:35

Officials: Kathy Gregory; Bridget Rothera; Peggy Celluci. Scorer: F&M Sports Info.

A-256 T-1:35