MANHEIM, Pa. - A dominant third quarter lifted Franklin & Marshall's No. 6 field hockey team to a 3-1 victory over No. 5 Johns Hopkins in Saturday's NCAA Final Four in Manheim, Pa. The Diplomats improved to a program-record 20-3 mark while the Blue Jays' season came to a close at 19-3.
Tomorrow's 2:00 p.m. NCAA Championship game will mark the Diplomats' first appearance in the National Final since 1981. F&M faces off against the winner of No. 2 Middlebury and No. 3 Salisbury. Stay tuned to GoDiplomats.com for the latest updates.
With two minutes to go in the first quarter, the Diplomats were forced to make an early stand by fighting off four-consecutive Johns Hopkins' corners and regaining possession to close out the period.
"We have so much confidence in each other," said Francis of her defensive unit. "We knew that Johns Hopkins has shooters but we knew the defense would do their job and do it well."
Neither offense managed to break through in the opening half despite narrow misses from both sides. With four minutes to go before the halftime break, Erin Coverdale collected the ball of the top of the circle and opted for a high chance on cage that was turned back off the blocker pad of Hopkins' goalkeeper.
Following the opening 30 minutes, the Blue Jays led in shots at 5-2 as well as corners at 4-1.
Saturday's game proved to be the tale of two halves as the Diplomats needed just over two minutes into the third to light the scoreboard. Abby Straub secured a feed from Darby Klopp and saw her shot from the right wing bounce into the back of the cage.
"We went into the second half not saying 'if we would score' but saying 'when we would score,'" said Mynott.
Less than two minutes passed before the Diplomats added ob. Klopp was once again in on the action, finding Mynott underneath for a shot that was batted to the left side of the goal for the 2-0 edge.
Johns Hopkins cut the deficit to one in the 38th off a solo score from Katie McErlean, but the Blue Jay momentum was short-lived. Mynott hit paydirt again in the 43rd, breaking away down the left side of the field and tallying her second of the game for the 3-1 final.
Christina Seery secured the victory in cage with three saves in 60 minutes of play. Kaitlin Hall was dealt the loss for the Blue Jays after surrendering three goals and picking up a pair of saves.
Coverdale and Mynott led the offense with four shots each.