LANCASTER, Pa. - Franklin & Marshall's No. 10 ranked field hockey team shut down No. 11 Johns Hopkins by a 2-0 score at home on Saturday afternoon, clinching home-field advantage in the upcoming Centennial Conference (CC) Tournament for the first time since 2015.
The victory ensured that next weekend's CC Semifinals and Championship games will take place on Tylus Field. The Diplomats, who improved to 15-2, 9-1 CC in their regular-season finale, will take on the winner of Wednesday's No. 4-5 matchup. Hopkins (15-2, 9-1 CC) will head into the tournament as the No. 2 seed.
Erin Coverdale got the F&M off to an ideal start with an eighth-minute goal that put the Diplomats ahead 1-0. Nicole Bodo ignited the play with a cross from outside the circle that found Coverdale down low. Coverdale collected the opportunity and slid an attempt into the lower-left side of the cage for her team-leading 17th tally of the year.
F&M maintained possession throughout the majority of the first half and the Diplomats' defense held tough through a flurry of Blue Jay penalty corners midway through the frame to keep the one-goal lead.
At the end of the first half, F&M controlled the shot count by a narrow 6-4 margin, as well as corners at 4-3.
After the halftime break, the Diplomats' attack continued to play the role of the aggressor and added on to their advantage with a 48th-minute score. Emily Nagle inserted a penalty corner to the stick of Coverdale on the edge of the circle. She fired a shot on cage that was deflected underneath by Lily Mynott, her 10th of the season, to deliver a 2-0 edge.
Johns Hopkins threatened to get on the scoreboard late, but F&M goalkeeper Ilianna Santangelo and the Diplomat defense continued to dominate en route to the program's 12th shutout of the season.
Santangelo (15-2) earned the win with a four-save performance and collected her career-high ninth shutout of the year. Her counterpart, Jodie Baris (15-2) was dealt the loss after surrendering both scores and registering a pair of stops.
The overall shot count belonged to Hopkins at 12-10, including an 8-4 advantage in the second half. Corners favored the Diplomats at 10-5. Coverdale led the offense with five shots, followed by Mynott with four.