LANCASTER, Pa. - Franklin & Marshall's field hockey team begins their 2019 season Friday, when the Diplomats hit the road to face Elizabethtown.
To watch the season preview video, featuring head coach Kaitlyn Eager, click here.
The Diplomats are coming off of a 17-4 overall record and a 9-1 record against Centennial Conference (CC) opponents last season. F&M looks to build upon its runner-up finish within the Conference and its appearance in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament.
F&M lost several key seniors from last year's squad. Most notably, The team has to make up for the losses of not only defender Juliana Keagle, but also stalwart backstop Illanna Santangelo. Keagle earned Second Team All-CC honors last season as an anchor for one of the nation's top defenses. Santangelo was a brick wall for the team, earning All-American honors as well as All-Region and All-CC First Team nods. Goalkeepers Christina Seery and Sydney Lippe will aim to make up for the loss of her production.
The Diplomats return seven players with double-digit starts last season, and brought in seven first-year players.
Players to Watch
F – Erin Coverdale – Sr.
D – Emma Durantine – Jr.
D – Colleen Francis – Sr.
M/F – Melissa Gula – Sr.
D – Caitlin Morrissey – Sr.
F – Lily Mynott – Jr.
M/F – Katie O'Loughlin – Sr.
M/F – Addie Peters – Jr.
D – Abby Straub – Jr.
Erin Coverdale '20 was an All-American and earned her second-career CC Offensive Player of the Year nod last year. Back for her senior season, she is already sixth in program history in both total points (106) and goals (45) and is in good position to set the new standards this season. Coverdale needs just one more game-winning goal to tie the F&M program-record with Sydney Cole '18.
Melissa Gula '20 earned First Team honors in both the CC and the Region. Her 14 points last season were good for third on the team. Caitlin Morrissey '20 was a major part of a Diplomats' defense that ranked in the top 10 in the NCAA all year in goals against average (third – 0.51), shutouts per game (fifth – 0.63), and save percentage (fifth – 0.63). F&M allowed just nine goals on the year.
Lily Mynott '21 was second on the team in points and goals last season with marks of 23 and 11, respectively.
To watch the 2019 video roster, click here.
The Road Ahead
F&M begins its season with three games on the road against Elizabethtown (Aug. 30th), FDU-Florham (Sept. 4th), and Lebanon Valley. After that, the Diplomats begin a three-game home stand on Sept. 14th against Mary Washington, concluding with the open of Conference play on Sept. 21st when F&M hosts Muhlenberg.
CC Playoffs get underway with the First Round on Tuesday, Nov. 5, while the Final is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 9. Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim will host this year's NCAA Final Four and Championship matches for the second straight year, which are set for Nov. 23-24.
Record Book Watch
Erin Coverdale is second in program history with 14 career game-winning goals. She is just one behind Sydney Cole '18 as the program leader. Coverdale has 45 career goals and is tied for sixth in program history. She is two goals away from entering the top-five.
Caitlin Morrissy has six penalty stroke conversions in her career. The F&M record is 10 (Annie Horsley '18).
In the Polls
The Diplomats were selected to finish second in the CC in the 2019 Centennial Conference Field Hockey Preseason Poll. Johns Hopkins was selected to repeat as CC Champions, receiving 99 total points, including eight first-place votes. F&M received the remaining three first-place votes (93 total points) after falling to JHU in the CC Championship last season. Complete Poll.
F&M ended last season as the No. 11 team in the NFHCA coaches poll. Two other Centennial Conference programs were in the NFHCA top 20 last season: No. 9 Johns Hopkins and No. 19 Ursinus. Complete Poll.
CC Home Win Streak
F&M has won 11 consecutive regular season home games within the Centennial Conference. The last home loss to a CC opponent came on Oct. 15th, 2016 (Muhlenberg, 1-0).